Giant corporations are buying houses in Nebraska. Is there a way to stop them?


The bill also restructured foreclosure auction practices. If the highest bidder in a foreclosure is someone who plans to live in the house, the sale is complete. But if a company like Vinebrook buys that same house, the sale is delayed for 45 days to allow an “eligible bidder” to match that offer.

In May, Ohio Senator Louis Blessing introduced a bill calling for a similar 45-day detention period in his state.

“In Ohio, there was no other legislation that even addressed this issue. We needed to have a conversation at the state level about this,” Blessing said.

Municipal leaders across the country are also demanding reform.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has called for legislation to limit corporate investors who bought a third of homes in Atlanta during the first quarter of 2022. In Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka announced a series of initiatives to fight against the behemoths of real estate.

A recent “Who Owns Newark?” A study found that 47% of the one to four unit buildings in this city were purchased by outside companies.

The study suggested regulations to keep rents and home ownership affordable, discourage speculation and require transparency from landlords.

Land trusts can also bridge the gap between Wall Street real estate companies and residents trying to buy their first home.

Community land trusts are non-profit organizations that hold land in trust permanently, allowing people to buy property on that land and enter into a long-term renewable lease. A 2019 study by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy found that land trusts lowered the annual moving rate to 2.6% in areas where they operate, significantly lower than the 6.9 moving rate. % of all US homeowners.

Northern California Land Trust is the oldest such land trust in California.

“A lot of people share that, there’s no way they’d be in the Bay Area if it wasn’t for living on landed property because they couldn’t have afforded it,” said said Sarah Scruggs, the trust. political director.

There are no community land trusts in Nebraska. Although the Municipal Land Bank of Omaha appears similar, its programs differ in the length and depth of the organization’s involvement. Community land trusts, for example, focus solely on affordable housing.

There are actions locally.

In Omaha, Front Porch Investments awarded $7.3 million in March to promote local affordable housing development. The winners were a mix of nonprofits and redevelopment groups, including Habitat for Humanity, which recently broke ground on the $25 million Bluestem Prairie development in North Omaha.

“The concept of buying properties and then having portfolios is a story as old as time,” said Naomi Hattaway, director of communications and community strategy at Front Porch Investments. “We can’t just point fingers and say you’re bad. But if we can’t offer solutions or keep them at a higher level, that’s for nothing.


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