Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so let’s all talk like pirates: Arr, Hedge Fund Landlords. Arr, Student Loan Servicers. Arr, Developers.
- Hedge Fund Landlords. Last week, I wrote of how NIMBYs were one reason why housing prices remain high. On Facebook, a discussion then ensued about why rents remained high. Today brought one answer: Private equity investors, who invested in housing during the foreclosure crisis, and are now profiting by keeping rents high.
- Student Lenders. Another pirate in the market has been student lenders, forcing many innocent students to walk the plank for a higher education. Luckily, the CFPB has just scored a win against one of the worst. Alas, it wasn’t Navient.
- Developers. Currently, neighborhood activists, tenant advocates and others alarmed by city decisions about proposed developments can lodge appeals with the Planning Department for an $89 fee. Budget officials recommended hiking it to $13,538 — an amount they say would completely recover city costs. Even if the council agrees on a lower, but increased fee, this means that it will still be easy for developers to protest zoning rules that require low income housing, but harder for those on lower income to insist that variances must provide affordable housing.