“Our Customer Is America”: Housing Insecurity and Eviction in Las Vegas, Nevada’s Postcrisis Rental Markets

Eric Seymour, Joshua Akers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, investors purchased large numbers of single-family residential properties and converted them to rentals. Activists and scholars have documented investor practices of withholding maintenance while raising rents to maximize profits. Increased demand for rental housing since the crisis has constrained the options of low- and moderate-income households, tilting power toward investor-landlords and raising the odds of abuse. A similar although less-discussed dynamic plays out in motels, which are often the last stop before homelessness. Leveraging 10 years of property ownership and eviction records, this article first examines differences among institutional investors and other landlords of single-family rentals in the scale of their holdings and the likelihood of their properties having an eviction record in Las Vegas, Nevada. Second, this article examines the scale of residential motel properties and their association with evictions. Through statistical analysis, we find institutional investors in single-family rentals are associated with higher rates of evictions, although these odds are highest for local actors expanding existing portfolios of rental properties. Large residential motel operators are similarly associated with extremely high eviction rates. We offer a number of recommendations for policy and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-539
Number of pages24
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Volume31
Issue number3-5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Keywords

  • eviction, single-family rental housing, motels, housing insecurity, Las Vegas

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