This report reviews the acquisition of single-family homes by large corporations in Mecklenburg County, and outlines a significant shift in the housing landscape. In 2021, over 11,000 single-family homes were identified as being owned by large corporations, a trend that has shown both positive and harmful impacts on rental housing stock and neighborhood stability, raising concerns that it will further exacerbate the existing housing affordability crisis in Mecklenburg County.
In response to these developments, the Lee Institute led a community engagement project in the spring of 2023 to gather insights on the impacts of this trend. This initiative revealed widespread concerns among the residents. A significant 75% of survey respondents indicated a negative impact from corporate landlords, with an additional 11% noting both negative and positive impacts. The primary concerns centered around housing affordability and related threats to economic mobility, with respondents highlighting the challenges of high and rising rents, difficulty competing with corporations in home purchases, and barriers to homeownership, especially for low- to moderate-income buyers. Moreover, issues regarding property maintenance, weakening community bonds, and safety were also prominent, with homeowners expressing particular concern over these aspects.
Participants across various engagement forums advocated for decisive action, including regulating the ownership abilities of corporate landlords, enforcing standards and regulations, and supporting affordable housing initiatives. While acknowledging the limitations of the study’s demographic and economic representativeness, the report reflects a consensus among various stakeholder groups on the need for action against the challenges posed by corporate landlords in Mecklenburg County.
Thank you to the Nisbet family who make work like this possible though the Nisbet Family Center for Community Engagement.
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