To fight back, Mathers became involved with MH Action, which is organizing owners of manufactured home to protect the affordability and quality of their communities. This group co-sponsored the Tenant March, along with more than a dozen others, including New York Communities for Change, Community Voices Heard, People’s Action, CASA de Maryland, and the Center for Popular Democracy. Organizers reported that marchers came from 16 different states.
A core goal of the protest was to draw attention to the fact that while Republicans are proposing severe cuts to housing assistance, they are continuing to support subsidies for private equity firms that are squeezing low-income tenants around the country.
President Trump’s proposed budget would cut $7.4 billion in housing funding by eliminating housing vouchers, cutting public housing funding by $1.8 billion, and significantly reducing homeless assistance grants. While stripping support for low-income Americans, the budget would maintain programs that help fill the pockets of wealthy investors. The biggest private equity player in the housing market is Blackstone, which has become the country’s largest landlord, owning more than $102 billion in real estate.
Speaking at the rally, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) blasted the administration for backing a $1 billion loan to Blackstone to buy public housing. “The government is literally using taxpayer money to make it cheaper for this multi-billion dollar Wall Street fund to buy up housing,” Warren said.