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Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to protect tenants’ rights

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Nov. 18 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan for protecting the rights of renters in the United States on Monday.

Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, detailed the plan on her website, pledging to protect and uphold the rights of tenants, tackle the growing cost of rent, invest in green public housing and fight exploitation by corporate landlords.

“Everyone in America should have a decent, affordable and safe place to live,” Warren said. “But today, stagnant wages, skyrocketing rents and a stark shortage of affordable options are putting the squeeze on America’s 43 million renting households.”

Warren’s plan would produce several federal programs to defend tenants’ rights, including a new Tenant Protection Bureau within the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a hotline to route complaints from tenants through their landlords for review.

Additionally, she pledged to defend tenants from eviction by creating a federal just cause eviction standard, a right to lease renewal, protections against constructive eviction and tenants’ right to organize as well as a tenants’ cause of action to allow tenants to sue landlords who threaten or begin an illegal eviction.

In order to curb growing rent prices, Warren plans to work to stop states from blocking local tenant protection laws such as rent control and create a division of HUD to study strategies to keep rents affordable.

Warren also took aim at corporate landlords by pledging to implement an Excessive Lobbying Tax to prevent lobbying against policies that protect renters and preventing federal money from going to landlords with a history of mistreating tenants.

Under the plan, large corporate landlords would also be required to publicly disclose data that would then be stored in a national public database, Warren said.

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