UN rights experts decry Big Finance moves in housing market

Two independent U.N. human rights experts are denouncing moves by big investment firms to buy up affordable and low-income homes to the detriment of tenants, singling out one by name: Blackstone Group.

A U.N. statement Tuesday says Leilani Farha and Surya Deva wrote to Blackstone to air concerns that “its actions are inconsistent with international human rights law with respect to the right to housing.”

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The experts faulted firms that buy up properties “en masse,” renovate them and jack up rental rates.

They also contacted five European countries and the United States, saying they had facilitated the “financialization” of housing through measures like favorable tax laws and weak tenant protections.

Blackstone responded in an extensive rebuttal letter faulting “numerous false claims, significant factual errors and inaccurate conclusions” by the experts.

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