When private equity becomes your landlord

Source: Heather Vogell, ProPublica

Rents soared. Trash collected in the hallways and on the rooftop deck, Cooper said. The security guard showed up less often. Another renter described having to heat her bathwater on the stove after she woke several times to find only cold water flowing from her tap.

The influx of private equity comes during a national affordable housing crisis and has dire consequences, tenants and their advocates say. Such firms use economies of scale to more aggressively squeeze profits from their buildings than traditional landlords usually do, tenant advocates say.  ProPublica found that the private equity buying spree has been fueled in part by Freddie Mac, the nation’s largest rental housing financier.

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