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04/14/2023 | Organizing for Housing Justice & A Home to Thrive


Progress Residential Preys on Renters as it Buys Up Homes in Tennessee and the U.S. South

Published By

Mad Bankson and Jordan Ash, Private Equity Stakeholder Project & Amee Chew, Center for Popular Democracy

    Recent headlines have called attention to the expansion of corporate investors in the single-family rental home industry. Corporate landlords’ growing acquisition of homes is particularly high in cities throughout the U.S. South, where a dire lack of renter protections has abetted rapid gentrification. In this context, the National Rental Home Council (NRHC), a real estate industry group headed by the largest single-family rental (SFR) landlords to advance their interests, is holding its national conference in Nashville, Tennessee this April 16-19, 2023. Renters have repeatedly demanded that the NRHC, and the corporate landlords that lead it, adopt tenant protections in the homes they own and manage, due to their exploitative business practices.

    Tennessee has suffered first-hand the harms that can come from the proliferation of corporate-owned rental homes, and Nashville is a key target for the largest predatory landlords. Corporate landlords accounted for a quarter of all home purchases in the Nashville area during the first quarter of 2022.1 In Shelby County, where Memphis is located, there are 17,000 fewer homeowners than there were a decade ago.2 Renters in corporate-owned properties have reported unfair rent hikes, shoddy maintenance, excessive fees, and more.3 Renters are organizing against evictions, as well as for limits on arbitrary rent increases, and the right to bargain collectively about living conditions.