“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government IS the problem.”
– Ronald Reagan
If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that constitutional rights and the rule of law are the first casualties when government gets out of control and picks winners and losers in the marketplace. Inevitably, there are unintended consequences that result in greater problems than the one a totalitarian government attempts to mitigate.
As a result of governmental overreach, first through mandatory shutdowns, I lost my job as a marketing communications professional. My situation was then exacerbated by the obliteration of my private property rights by the eviction moratoriums and rent holds.
I originally created American Home Property Solutions, LLC with the goal of providing clean, affordable housing for working class people, as well as to provide a source of supplemental retirement income for my husband and myself. We’re both in our 60s, and he has been disabled since 2013, so I have been the only source of income for our family.
My rents ranged from $575 to $850. I deliberately kept them below exorbitant market rates. Tenants included college students, teachers, healthcare workers, retail clerks, salon managers, factory staff, and other low-wage workers. My tenants frequently expressed their gratitude that my properties were kept clean and well-managed, which is so often not the case when tenants rent in this price range.
With the two separate eviction moratoriums in place, I could no longer take on the risk of the two mortgages for my small multifamily properties should my tenants lose their jobs and stop paying rent.
So, with an extremely frustrated and heavy heart, I was forced to sell.
The National Association of Realtors attempted to offer a more reasonable approach and urged Congress to pass legislation that would instead provide emergency rental assistance programs to housing providers.
In its article “Home/Eviction Moratorium? Owners Need Relief Too,” NAR President Vince Malta stated,
“Any eviction moratorium must also come with rental assistance for property owners, the vast majority of which are mom-and-pop investors and are still required to meet their financial obligations even as they cease to receive income on their properties.”
Unfortunately, that assistance never came, and I became one of those property owners who was put out of business, in effect without due process, since I simply could not take the risk of carrying the costs of ownership that was abruptly thrust upon me by the government.
At a minimum, the government could have provided additional assistance to tenants who lost their jobs rather than make private property owners shoulder the burden and risk of these unprecedented and unconstitutional edicts.
I am encouraged and grateful to organizations such as the Texas Public Policy Foundation that have taken the CDC to court and won. Although much damage has been done, at least there is hope that court decisions may help prevent the federal government from destroying our rights and our businesses in the future.