Financing Human Dignity: Taxing Corporate Speculation to Bring Equitable Housing to Scale

VacantHousingArt Takeover hum rts sign

Large hedge and equity funds, such as Blackstone and Oak Tree purchase scores of distressed mortgages and foreclose on struggling families. At times, these funds hold homes vacant, waiting for property values to increase, while thousands of people sleep on the street or in homeless shelters. Despite deep government subsidies for speculative housing, funds for the development of community land trusts (CLTs) and other shared-equity models are in short supply.

We are proud to share our new issue brief, Financing Human Dignity: Taxing Corporate Speculators to Bring Equitable Housing to Scale, that offers a unique solution to this pressing issue. To address the structural challenge of speculation, we recommend taxing “bads,” like speculative statutory trusts, and using that revenue to create public community “goods,” like community land trusts that can realize the human right to housing for those who are struggling to make ends meet.

Speculation is embedded in almost every thread of our economy, undermining the stability and well-being of countless neighborhoods and communities. We must work together to build and institute structural interventions that can benefit communities that are burdened by the business-as usual development paradigm. 

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