There's a new breed of landlord buying up apartments around the city, and tenant advocates say "predatory equity" firms are bent on turning affordable housing into cash machines.
Tenants say rent-regulated apartments threatened by investment firms
The trend of private equity firms to purchase rent-regulated buildings in working-class neighborhoods could gut the city's stock of affordable housing, according to Benjamin Dulchin, deputy director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.
"Almost 10% of the city's rent-regulated housing stock has been purchased by private equity-backed developers in the last four years," said Dulchin.
The danger, he said, is that such firms typically raise financing on Wall Street on terms demanding high and rapid returns. "They know they have to squeeze these buildings and raise rents fast," said Dulchin, "and that pressure leads to harassment of tenants to drive them out."