“I was upset that the city of Los Angeles would suggest to me that I would go into a homeless shelter, when I own property in the city”
As a result of the pandemic, millions of apartment renters have not paid any rent in months. In many places, they don’t have to due to official freezes on rent and evictions.
But what about the people who own these properties? Who is helping them?
In Los Angeles, one landlord has been reduced to living in his car.
Leo Stallworth reports at ABC 7 in Los Angeles:
LA property owner says eviction moratorium due to pandemic has left him homeless
A Los Angeles property owner says the eviction moratorium currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing him from moving into one of his own rental units. Now, he’s living out of his car.
“I was upset that the city of Los Angeles would suggest to me that I would go into a homeless shelter, when I own property in the city,” said the man, who did not wish to disclose his identity.
He says he’s going through a divorce, has been displaced and needs a place to live.
Despite owning a duplex in the West Adams District, he says he’s forbidden from moving a tenant out of one of the units so he can move in.
He says his tenants have been paying rent, but added that the COVID mortarium on evictions prevents him from filing a declaration of intent to move a tenant out, so he can occupy one of his units.
He added that his property falls under rent control, which has left him with next to nothing after pouring large amounts of money into city-enforced upkeep of the property.
I was amazed when I searched YouTube on this subject to find dozens of news stories just like the one above. Here’s a recent report from ABC News:
This story shows how everything in our economy is tied together. It also shows why shutting down the country for the better part of a year was a horrible idea.
Here’s another report on property owners from Bloomberg, via Yahoo News:
Rent Crisis Spirals for Landlords Awaiting $47 Billion in Relief
More than a year since Covid-19 lockdowns put millions of apartment dwellers out of work, almost $47 billion in U.S. government rent relief is hitting the streets. For many landlords, it’s coming much too slowly.
Joaquin Villanueva, an airport janitor who owns a three-unit rental house in East Boston, had to take out a home-equity loan just to pay the bills. One tenant, eight months behind on rent, vanished one night in March. An unemployed restaurant dish washer in another unit owes $5,000.
“I don’t want to lose my house so I’m doing whatever I have to do,” said the El Salvadoran immigrant who wipes the floors at nearby Logan International Airport. “I’m not rich like a Donald Trump.”
While the government passed sweeping measures last year to prevent mass homelessness among renters, there was no targeted help for mom-and-pop property owners who provide much of America’s affordable housing. Like their tenants, these landlords are more likely to be nonwhite or to be immigrants using real estate for their economic foothold. Now, mortgage, maintenance and tax bills are piling up, putting landlords in danger of losing their buildings or being forced to sell to wealthier investors hunting for distressed deals.
I hate to say it, but I believe this is going to get worse. This will have a ripple effect, and what we see now is just the beginning.
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