Our Commitment to Being Responsible Owners
Blackstone is incredibly proud of its investments in housing. We have spent billions of dollars through both our equity investments and lending activities to make existing communities better places to live, add to the supply of housing and create thousands of jobs in local communities. We believe this process enables us to generate value in our investments, make assets more attractive, and ultimately benefits our investors.
We hold ourselves and our operators to the highest standard of care and always put the wellbeing of our residents first. We prioritize open and transparent communication, best-in-class management, meaningful capital investment, respect for our residents and community impact. During the pandemic, Blackstone recognized that many were experiencing extreme hardship. We believe we are the only major landlord in the US that did not evict a single tenant for non-payment during the 2+ years of the pandemic.
We strive every day to find ways to improve the neighborhoods in which we invest. Ultimately, this enables us to deliver returns for our investors, who include retirement systems for frontline workers and public servants, representing more than 100 million pensioners around the world.
We want to help clarify misunderstandings about the role of institutional investors, and Blackstone specifically, in the housing market.
Myth: Blackstone owns a significant portion of the global housing market and is driving up rents in the places it invests.
Fact: We own less than 1% of rental housing in the US and every market across the UK and Europe where we own assets. Given our ownership levels, we have virtually no ability to impact market rent trends. Rents are going up because there is significantly less supply of housing across the globe than demand for it.
Myth: Individuals and families are getting priced out of the housing market because Blackstone is buying so much of the housing market.
Fact: Housing prices are rising due to a significant supply and demand imbalance that has persisted for over a decade.
Blackstone owns approximately 0.03% of single-family homes in the US. More broadly, institutional owners of single-family rentals own only 0.4%. The number of single-family rental homes is declining – down 7% over the last 10 years. Across the top 18 markets where Blackstone acquired single-family rental homes in 2022, Blackstone’s acquisitions on average represented less than 1% of all housing sales. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for Blackstone to move the market.
Our portfolio company Home Partners enables families that would otherwise be locked out of traditional single-family housing to access homes of their choosing. Home Partners’ residents have a median FICO score of 649 compared to 7651 for the median US homebuyer, and Home Partners gives them the ability to buy the home of their dreams. In January 2022, Home Partners announced a program to invest at least $1 billion to help low-to-moderate-income families and historically under-represented communities on their path to home ownership by offering them rents approximately 10% below market.
Our commitment to supporting greater affordability extends to Europe where we have committed more than £3.4 billion and our portfolio company Sage Homes has delivered more than 10,000 new affordable homes, with another 9,000 in the pipeline to be delivered by 2026. More than 1.2 million households are currently on local authorities’ housing waiting lists across England. Sage Homes grew to become the largest provider of newly built affordable homes in England for two years running – in 2021 and 2022 – and is contributing to much needed supply.
Myth: Blackstone is having a negative impact on the affordable housing space.
Fact: Our investments in US Affordable Housing have been through our perpetual capital vehicles, where we intend to own assets for the long-term. Rents at the majority of these properties are set by government regulation through the LIHTC program, and we simply follow the legal guidelines. The rent restrictions on our LIHTC buildings have 18 years of remaining term, on average, and we intend to keep them affordable for the long-term, beyond when the programs expire.
At StuyTown in New York City, we voluntarily preserved 5,000 units as affordable housing – something other investors may not be willing to do. We made this commitment while also investing more than $375 million in the property.
Myth: Blackstone cuts corners to drive their bottom line, limiting services for tenants.
Fact: We are committed to the highest standards of care, including best-in-class management and meaningful capital investment. We have invested more than $10B to create and improve our residential properties globally since 2013, creating thousands of jobs and contributing to local economies in the process. The truth is that our scale allows us to provide high-quality services and generate significant cost savings through thoughtful procurement strategies for our residents because we have the resources to do so.
Our dedication to improving our properties and our residents’ experiences has resulted in significant increases in resident satisfaction. Across our US multifamily investments, we have achieved a 20% increase in reported resident satisfaction rates as compared to the prior ownership.2 StuyTown’s Net Promoter Score, a widely used consumer satisfaction measurement, increased by 252% since our investment.
Myth: Blackstone is a short-term investor focused on “buying, fixing and selling” as quickly as possible.
Fact: The vast majority of Blackstone’s global residential investment value is in perpetual capital vehicles, which are focused on buying stabilized, income-generating assets that we want to own for the long-term.
Myth: Blackstone is less likely to work with residents who fall behind on rent than other landlords and is more likely to pursue evictions.
Fact: We take great pride in supporting residents through challenging times and go above and beyond what others may provide for their residents. We implemented leading assistance programs to help residents facing financial hardship, including voluntarily halting all evictions for non-payment across our US portfolio for more than two years at the start of the global pandemic. Even prior to the pandemic, we had an eviction rate in the US that was less than half the historical national average, and in Europe, our eviction rate was less than 1%.3
During the pandemic, we also voluntarily waived fees, implemented flexible payment plans and offered free counseling to all residents who needed assistance navigating support programs across the US.
Fundamentally, eviction is never a course we want to pursue. When residents are unable to meet their obligations, we work diligently to reach a favorable resolution for both parties.
Myth: Blackstone doesn’t care about the communities it operates in.
Fact: We have a deep respect for the communities where are properties are located. In every community we invest in, we think creatively about how to give back to those in need and make our residents’ lives better. For example:
- In London, we partnered with Habitat for Humanity GB to deliver social housing through its Empty Spaces project, which converts empty commercial spaces into affordable homes for vulnerable groups facing homelessness.
- CoreGiving, a non-profit made up of Blackstone real estate portfolio companies, raised over $3.2 million to fund more than 16 million meals for children and families in 2021 to help eliminate the growing problem of childhood hunger.
- The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has distributed $120+ million globally since 2007.4
Note: All figures as of December 31, 2022, unless otherwise indicated.
- As of March 31, 2023.
- Based on Google Reviews at LivCor properties and calculated using a weighted average of reviews as of January 31, 2022 compared to January 31, 2023.
- Historical national average as of 2016.
- As of June 2021.