The Treasury Department, in parallel with state and municipal actors, should implement permanent reforms to pull back the veil on the anonymous purchase of U.S. real estate to fight money laundering and corruption and, as a result, cultivate fairer housing markets here at home..
Home ownership is a quintessential part of the American dream. Now, nearly a decade after the housing market crash this dream for many Americans is still just that: a dream. Housing costs are rising far faster than wages—burdening renters. Residential properties are becoming prohibitively expensive—forcing out residents who may have called them home for decades.
To add insult to injury, the loss of affordable housing has been spurred by the use of anonymous shell companies. Bad actors or rich speculators use these companies to bid up prices on properties and then use them as a “bank” rather than a home—all without identifying who they are or where the money came from to purchase the property.