The world has continued to feel the stinging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since it came into being over nearly two years. From rising food costs to surging rates for other key services, the economic crisis has been felt by everyone, including celebrities.
While many have tried to adjust to the recent trend, some have been unable to do so and have even ended up losing out their homes due to the increasing cost of properties.
British comedian and political commentator John Oliver recently spoke out about such rising rents and property prices, blaming it on greedy landlords wanting to take advantage of the situation.
Read below for more details.
John Oliver On High Rents
During a recent episode of his show “Last Week Tonight,” the stand-up comic was all fired up over the current trend of soaring rents he had seen. Oliver puts most of the fault for the rising expenses squarely on the shoulders of the landlords, arguing that their selfish mindsets were to blame.
He claims that as a result of this, a minimum wage worker could no longer afford to rent a “modest 2-bedroom house” in any county in the country and that paying one’s monthly rent had become a difficult burden for most people because of costs had reached an all-time high.
On the other hand, most landlords claim that their decision to increase rent was based on the “market rate” as they couldn’t give out their properties below such standards. However, Oliver was having none of it, dismissing it as nonsense and as a convenient excuse to continue the rising rent trend.
He Called Out Landlords Who Blamed The Market Rates
Oliver carried his critique a step further by displaying a video of personal finance expert Dave Ramsey telling a conflicted property owner that hiking rent to market rate “doesn’t make me a terrible Christian.”
“I did not displace the person out of that house if they can no longer afford it. The marketplace did,” Ramsey had said on “The Ramsey Show.”
“Of course kicking someone out of your house doesn’t make you a bad Christian,” Oliver mockingly retorted. “It’s in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. F–ked are the poor in money. For theirs is the kingdom of landlords. Wazzaaaaaaa!!'”
John Oliver Also Blames Investment Groups
As much as Oliver blamed landlords for rising rents, he took aim at international corporations and investors who saw rising rents in the United States and bought homes so they could keep raising rents even higher, gladly draining more money out.
To back up the host’s assertion, he shared footage of Bob Nicolls of Monarch Investment and Management Group gushing about the “unprecedented opportunity” to “press rents.”
“Where are people gonna go? They can’t go anywhere,” the Nicholls said, implying that people must rent properties no matter the cost.
Such treatment from these companies handling of tenants prompted Oliver to further accuse them of treating individuals like “paninis,” with little care for their well-being.
A Possible Solution
View this post on Instagram
According to a Bloomberg investigation, such companies particularly use forceful and widely stated techniques for people who are behind on their rent, which Oliver expects that government should have curtailed if they genuinely want to help the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
The comedian outlined a variety of legislative proposals that may ease the stress of locating and maintaining a house for low-income people a little less frightening. He did, however, acknowledge the need for more fundamental reform was key to making such concepts sustainable.
“Having a place to live is an everyday fight for a huge portion of the people,” Oliver added. “And for far too long, we’ve put the safety of assets ahead of the safety of persons.”
While Oliver continues to promote the idea that housing is a basic human right, more hands-on-deck are needed to guarantee that housing is readily available to everyone.
View this post on Instagram