Who Owns Providence?

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Who Owns Providence?
Messer, Anna (Creator)
Gosciak, Jennah (Creator)
Berman, Jeremy (Creator)
Benencia-Courreges, Martin (Creator)
Date Created
Last spring, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) brought to our attention the issue of corporate ownership of residential properties in Providence. DARE had recently proposed a rent control ordinance, since more than half of all renters in the city are housing-cost burdened. Legislators and policymakers wanted to know who would be most affected: “mom and pop” landlords or corporations? Scholars have previously examined the importance of housing ownership as it relates to issues such as eviction, poverty, and gentrification. In addition, researchers have focused specifically on corporate ownership. Sociologist Saskia Sassen argues that increased corporate ownership is connected to a decrease in cosmopolitanism and culture. Nationally, rental properties owned by individuals has decreased from 94% in 1991 to 72% in 2015. At the same time, there has been an increase in ownership by limited liability corporations, or LLCs, which often conceal the name(s) of owners making it difficult for cities to impose regulations. Given the extent of uncertainty among housing advocates and nonprofit leaders, we committed ourselves to the research question: who actually owns the city?
corporate residential properties
Direct Action for Rights and Equality


Messer, Anna, Gosciak, Jennah, Berman, Jeremy, et al., "Who Owns Providence?" (2019). Engaged Scholars Capstones. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:919245/



  • This collection is for preserving and disseminating digital copies of Engaged Scholars' Capstones. The Swearer Center's Engaged Scholars Program (ESP) enables Brown University students who are passionate about communities and the challenges they face to design courses of study and ...