Like the houses of millions of tenants across the United States have been threatened this week by the refusal of the White House and Congress to extend the moratorium on evictions put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Democrats’ inaction was profiting directly to some of the biggest party funders in the real estate industry.
Like Andrew Perez and Joel Warner reported in The daily poster On Tuesday, the chairman of real estate brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap and real estate investment trust Essex Property Trust donated $ 1 million to House Majority PAC on June 1, days after CDC expanded the moratorium until the end of June.
President George Marcus also donated $ 263,400 in the same month to a committee that benefits the Congressional Democratic Campaign Committee (DCCC) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s campaign, and contributed at least 6 , $ 5 million to PACs who work to elect Democrats to the Senate and House.
The daily poster suggested that although Marcus and his businesses are wealthy – the chairman being part of a group of homeowners whose personal fortunes have increased by nearly $ 25 billion since the start of the pandemic – Marcus & Millichap and Essex Property Trust could benefit from the moratorium on evictions allowed to expire.
Marcus & Millichap, the largest commercial real estate brokerage in North America, reported that it has had a “tough year” in 2020, with sales transactions down 17.9% from 2019. Essex Property Trust, which owns or partially owns over 60,000 apartments in California and Washington and donated $ 23.5 million to committees that opposed rent control measures in recent years. electoral cycles, said he was directly affected by the pandemic and the moratorium on evictions.
Essex’s “cash failure rate” was “higher than the pre-pandemic period, but improved from 4.3% for the three months ended June 30, 2020 to 2.6% for the three months closed on June 30, 2021 “, The daily poster reported.
The company is currently working “with residents to collect these bad debts,” and CEO Michael Schall said last week that he expects rent payments to return to normal levels “as more and more more workers are entering the labor market and eviction protections expire. “
The report reinforced a claim made by Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) About MSNBC Democrats failed to vote for an extension of the moratorium on evictions last week, sparking outrage from progressives in Congress includingRepresentatives Cori Bush (D-Mo.) And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.).
“The reason they are not proposing it for a vote is that some Democrats have privately attempted to kill this bill because of the special interest of realtors and other groups,” Khanna noted. “And it is unacceptable that we do not have a vote in the House, that we protect certain members to kill this behind closed doors and not be transparent. This is simply not true.”
“Real estate developers’ money unites Democratic Party,” tweeted Daybreak PAC’s Jackie Fielder last week as it became clear Democrats would not prevent the moratorium from expiring.
Sara Myklebust of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Work and the Working Poor at Georgetown University said The daily poster that Marcus’ donations to Democratic candidates and PACs were part of “a model of owners having close relationships through money and influence.”
“It’s not shocking, because we’ve seen this pattern over and over again,” Myklebust told the outlet. “What is shocking is that millions of people are at risk not only of becoming homeless, but also of contracting a fatal disease.”
As Common dreams reported Last week, 4.2 million people in the United States say they are at risk of deportation or foreclosure in the near future, and research (pdf) by epidemiologists at the University of California at Los Angeles showed that people who are homeless are up to 50% more likely to die from Covid-19 than people who do not experience homelessness.
In addition to Marcus’ financial support for Democrats, The daily posterdetailed a $ 2.3 million donation by private equity firm The Blackstone Group to the Senate Majority PAC and the pool of hundreds of thousands of dollars by lobbyists for real estate interests for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC).
Meanwhile, supporters of reinstating the moratorium continued to demand Democrats, both in the White House and in Congress, to take immediate action to avert the crisis.
“In our interconnected economy, it’s just not an option to abandon so many Americans to financial ruin,” noted Morris Pearl, President of Patriotic Millionaires. “It’s not just bad for late renters – in the long run, it’s bad for landlords, too.”
“Allowing millions of Americans to be deported over the next few months would be a disaster for the whole country, and Congress and the White House have a responsibility to stop this looming catastrophe,” Pearl added.