WASHINGTON D.C., Virginia (KOLO) – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen is introducing a bill that would crack down on what she says is price gouging in the housing market.
The Housing Oversight and Mitigating Exploitation Act would regulate investors who she says are buying up existing housing stock and driving up home prices.
Her bill would direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate price manipulation and price gouging and make it illegal for anyone to rent or sell a unit at an unreasonable price.
Fines would be issued to those who violate the law, which would subsequently be deposited into the National Housing Trust Fund to be used for affordable housing.
“Sky-high costs of housing and rent are hurting hardworking Nevadans and putting a strain on their budgets,” said Senator Rosen. “That’s why I’m introducing a bill to crack down on price gouging by corporate investors and lower housing costs for Nevada families. I’m committed to doing everything I can to lower costs and give Nevadans more breathing room.”
The bill, which has already been endorsed by the Nevada Housing Coalition, would also empower the HUD Secretary to monitor home purchases within housing markets nationwide to investigate market manipulation.
The HOME Act would also:
- Direct the Secretary of HUD to determine if corporate investors are purchasing an excessive amount of housing in a particular market, and, in the case where a single institutional investor buys more than 5% of the single-family housing units in a market over a three-year period or more than 25% of the single-family housing unit in a one-year period, requires the investigation of price gouging and unfair investment practices that drive homeowners out of the market.
- Authorize the Federal Trade Commission, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and the Secretary of HUD to collect and analyze data on practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants of rental housing from accessing or staying in housing units.
- Limit investments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to organizations that have either violated renter protections or have been found to have raised rent by egregious rates in the past.
- Direct the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to jointly review anti-competitive behavior in the residential housing market.
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