Tell California's Growing Corporate Landlord: Stop the Rent Increases!

Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone's Invitation Homes - merged with Starwood Waypoint

Vanessa and Richard Bulnes, like the thousands of other Waypoint tenants (Starwood Waypoint - now merging with Blackstone's Invitation Homes) across California, have faced high rent increases, habitability issues, and even an attempted eviction caused by Waypoint's negligence to fix the lead soil in their backyard which closed Vanessa's in-home childcare business of 22 years.

They are not alone. In the wreckage of the foreclosure crisis, Trump’s top donor and inaugural committee chair Thomas Barrack and the company Starwood Waypoint he most recently owned have quickly become one of California’s largest landlords. On Monday, June 5th, his company bought 3000 properties in bulk totaling his California-based properties to 6,634 and on Friday, June 9th after we launched this petition Barrack sold his stock in the company and resigned as chairman! Every day, mega real estate corporations like Starwood Waypoint buy thousands of homes across California in primarily working class communities of color, package and "securitize" the rents, and place them on the stock market to be shared, sold and profited off of. Wall Street's new rental empire is now built on similar risky "mortgage-backed securities" that caused the economy to crash in 2008. But this time instead of predatory loans, the foundation of their business model is built on undying rent increases and inhumane slumlord practices.

Currently, single-family homes are exempt from rent-control in California based on Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act which is up for repeal as AB1506.

That's why we're calling on Starwood Waypoint, now Invitation Homes as an example to all corporate landlords to institute a freeze on all rent increases immediately! A win for Invitation Homes tenants is a win for all tenants everywhere.

Stand with Richard and Vanessa - sign the petition! No more rent increases!

Listen to Vanessa and Richard's story here on KQED.

You can also learn more about Starwood Waypoint (now merged with Invitation Homes) and their dirty deeds in this national piece on Reveal News here and read the follow up piece on Barrack's cash out here.

Petition by
Oakland, California
Sponsored by

To: Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone's Invitation Homes - merged with Starwood Waypoint
From: [Your Name]

Barry Sternlicht, Chairman of Colony Starwood and CEO of Starwood Capital Group,

We are calling on you as one of the largest landlords in the state of California of mostly single-family homes to immediately institute a moratorium on all rent increases for your properties, to have a collective meeting with your tenants and to discuss their shared issues and to support the repeal of state law Costa Hawkins. As you may be aware, California is facing a housing crisis of epic proportions with rents skyrocketing and families being displaced at alarming rates. Many of your tenants have reported rent increases of up to $1000 additional per month and inhumane housing conditions with an severely understaffed maintenance crew. Considering this crisis and the disastrous HUD budget cuts by your friend President Donald Trump, we are calling on you to be a responsible landlord and ethical businessman by immediately putting into effect our requests.

Please do right by the community and California and respond to our concerns immediately.