A research brief by the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy draws fresh attention to the manner in which corporate entities have sought to benefit from an economic crisis by rapidly acquiring residential property in Los Angeles.
The report builds on insights from several studies released during the COVID-19 pandemic by UCLA researchers that have found social and economic inequalities being reflected disproportionately in working-class communities of color. A significant percentage of residents in such communities face higher risk of unemployment, unsafe jobs, homelessness, and possible eviction and subsequent housing displacement.
The report analyzes data on the Great Recession, finding that corporate control of residential property in many working-class communities with large Black and Latino populations expanded significantly in Los Angeles County between 2005 and 2015.
The report finds that corporate control of residential property “is established and maintained through various strategies, including dominance in the single-family rental market, mass acquisition of foreclosed properties, destruction of rent-controlled housing, and running ‘eviction machines’ to displace tenants.” Its authors are Ananya Roy, director of the institute and a professor of urban planning, social welfare and geography; UCLA Luskin graduates Terra Graziani and Joel Montano; and Pamela Stephens, a UCLA doctoral student in urban planning.