This week, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the Housing Oversight and Mitigating Exploitation (HOME) Act to crack down on price gouging by corporate investors.
According to the Nevada Housing Coalition, Nevada has a shortage of 83,994 rental homes for extremely low-income renters and 17 affordable and available homes per 100 renter households in Nevada.
In the past three years, public listed companies and hedge funds expanded their holdings in Southern Nevada’s single-family rental market.
American Homes 4 Rent, now known as AMH, is a Las Vegas-based company that’s publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company more than doubled its Clark County holdings to some 2,000 single-family homes between 2019 and 2023. Last year, Starwood Capital sold over 200 homes in Southern Nevada to Invitation Homes, a public listed company on the New York Stock Exchange.
Specifically, this bill would:
- Make it illegal for any person to rent or sell a dwelling unit at an unreasonable price during an affordable housing crisis.
- Direct the Secretary of HUD to investigate whether home prices are being manipulated by artificially reducing housing capacity or through other price gouging practices.
- Empower the Secretary of HUD to monitor home purchases within housing markets across the country to investigate market manipulation, including through data collection of housing purchases by corporate investors.
- Direct the Secretary of HUD to determine if corporate investors are purchasing an excessive amount of housing in a particular market, and, in the case where a single institutional investor buys more than 5 percent of the single-family housing units in a market over a three-year period or more than 25 percent of the single-family housing unit in a one-year period, requires the investigation of price gouging and unfair investment practices that drive homeowners out of the market.
- Authorize the Federal Trade Commission, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and the Secretary of HUD to collect and analyze data on practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants of rental housing from accessing or staying in housing units.
- Limit investments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to organizations that have either violated renter protections or have been found to have raised rent by egregious rates in the past.
- Direct the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to jointly review anti-competitive behavior in the residential housing market.
This bill has been endorsed by Nevada Housing Coalition and the National Low Income Housing coalition. Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives.
“In 2021, the 4th Congressional District in Nevada saw 17% of the homes purchased being bought by private corporate speculators. Companies with no interest or connection to our communities then manipulate the market and impact hard-working, prospective homeowners or renters who are trying to afford a home for themselves and their families,” said Congressman Horsford. “This is a national trend that the data shows is targeting communities of color and hurting single mothers in greater numbers. And now, we are learning about companies trading these homes like stocks and bonds, with nearly 40% of single-family homes predicted to be under the control of these corporate speculators by 2030. The HOME Act will empower the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary to investigate these corporations and take action to keep families in their homes, and I am proud to have Senator Rosen introduce the Senate companion to my legislation.”