A new report from Tenants Together, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), PICO California, and the Housing NOW! coalition reveals that Wall Street real estate investors are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby California legislators and prevent 17 million California tenants from enjoying commonsense housing protections.
Why are our policymakers failing to act? One of the major reasons is the powerful and deep-pocketed corporate real estate lobby led by the California Apartment Association (CAA). While the CAA often claims to represent their 13,000 members, the CAA’s agenda primarily serves their leadership who are some of the country’s largest Wall Street corporate landlords. The business model of these mega corporate landlords is predicated on increasing profits at all costs by raising rents, neglecting maintenance, and evicting frequently.
Since 2017, the CAA has dramatically increased its spending to oppose or repeal critical housing justice solutions. Over the past three legislative sessions, the CAA, with the help of its corporate real estate investor members and other toxic industries like Big Oil and Big Tobacco, have spent at least $233 million in political contributions and lobbying. Through their spreading of cash, the CAA has furthered its Wall Street agenda, making it even harder for all of us to find stability and opportunity while calling California home.