by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Massachusetts Democratic congresswoman and “Squad” member Ayanna Pressley quietly expanded her rental property portfolio just two months after she introduced a bill that would provide taxpayer-funded relief for landlords.
Pressley purchased her second rental property, a two-unit home in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood, for $340,000 in May 2021, according to property records and financial disclosures reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Just two months before the purchase, the Democrat—along with fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.)—introduced a bill that would have created a “landlord relief fund” to reimburse landlords who lost rent payments from March 1, 2020 to April 1, 2022.
Pressley owned and operated at least four rental units during that time period, the Democrat’s financial disclosures show. In addition to her Mattapan property, Pressley in 2019 purchased a $658,000 Boston home that she converted into a two-family building. That property brought Pressley up to $15,000 in rental income in 2020 and up to $100,000 in rental income in 2021, suggesting that the Democrat may have lost revenue during the pandemic, thus making her eligible for taxpayer-funded relief through her bill. The legislation specifically prioritizes landlords with “the fewest available amount of assets,” making minor lessors such as Pressley more likely to receive funds.
Pressley, who did not return a request for comment, is not the only Democrat who pushed for federal landlord relief without acknowledging her status as a landlord. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), who also cosponsored the Pressley-backed landlord relief bill, collected up to $50,000 in rent payments in 2020, her financial disclosures show. Pennsylvania Reps. Matt Cartwright (D.) and Susan Wild (D.), meanwhile, collected up to $130,000 in combined rental income in 2020 as they called for taxpayer-funded assistance for landlords.