Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pledged to create a Tenant Protection Bureau as part of her plan to strengthen renters rights as she seeks the Democratic nomination for president.
The proposal released Monday builds on Warren’s previously announced $500 billion affordable housing plan.
The bureau, which Warren said would be modeled after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) she established under the Obama administration, would work to enforce tenants’ rights, including new rights she’s pushing for on behalf of renters.
“Before the financial crash, I came up with the idea for a consumer financial protection agency— a new federal agency dedicated to protecting American consumers. I fought for that agency, helped build it from scratch, and now the CFPB has returned nearly $12 billion directly to consumers scammed by financial institutions,” Warren said.
“Tenants deserve a cop on the beat too.”
Warren’s plan also proposes creating a tenant hotline modeled after the CFPB consumer complaint database that will route complaints from tenants to their landlord through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that could review the data and share it with local officials to help enforce protections.
The progressive candidate also aims to eliminate “no cause” evictions by creating a federal just cause eviction standard and a right to lease renewal.
To enforce the proposed rights, Warren said she’d condition the $500 billion in new affordable housing funding, proposed under her affordable housing plan, on states adopting the new protections.
To address rising costs of rent, Warren said she’d create an Innovation Lab in HUD to study strategies that keep rents affordable, including rent control, multiyear leases, zoning reform and community land trusts.
Warren said her affordable housing fund would also be conditioned on states repealing laws prohibiting local rent control laws. More than 30 states have such laws, according to Warren.
Her plan also proposes restoring the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which would aim to end housing segregation by requiring local governments to identify housing policies and practices with racist effects and undo them.
Warren also said she’d require corporate landlords to publicly disclose data and would create a national public database with the information.