During the housing boom, a new breed of speculator used private equity and oversized bank loans to buy up affordable housing. They tried to make a quick profit by converting it to luxury housing – putting over 65,000 families and their affordable apartments at risk. Post-crash, these predatory equity speculators can’t pay off their loans or sell their buildings. Foreclosure looms.

Predatory Equity: The Survival Guide explains the financial mechanics of predatory equity and how to prevent it from happening again in the next boom. It provides tenants, advocates, and policymakers with information on tools like loan modifications and preservation short sales to save the hundreds of buildings in imminent danger of foreclosure.

This poster is being used by dozens of housing advocacy organizations to break down the math behind this predatory practice.

Get your copy here!

Resources & Links

Tenants & Neighbors is the largest tenant’s rights organization in the New York State, with 15,000 members. For more than 30 years, through grassroots organizing, T&N has forged a powerful movement in the fight to preserve affordable housing, strengthen tenant protections, and sustain diverse and livable communities.

The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board is a nonprofit organization that helps low-income tenants control their housing through the creation of limited-equity cooperatives. UHAB also helps tenants preserve existing and affordable housing by empowering them to make proactive decisions about the future of their homes.

MTWTF is a graphic design studio specializing in publications, environmental graphics and identity systems. MTWTF engages in collaborative projects with partners in other disciplines, such as architecture, industrial design, and urban planning. MTWTF was founded in 2008 and is located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


  • CUP
  • John Mangin
  • Rosten Woo
  • Tenants and Neighbors
  • Advocacy Partner
  • Amy Chan
  • UHAB
  • Advocacy Partner
  • Dina Levy
  • Designer
  • Glen Cummings


Three Artists on the Economy
  • Tenants Together
  • October 18, 2009

“…beautifully useful…”

Making Policy Public: Predatory Equity
  • Urban Omnibus
  • May 27, 2009

Advocates handed out The Predatory Equity Survival Guide as part of a crucial tenant association meeting in East Harlem where new plans to combat predatory equity were announced.