Meet James M. Nelson

An Expert on the Housing Industry and Economics

James M. Nelson

…has nearly 40 years’ banking experience, including work as a Federal Banking Regulator, agricultural and commercial lending, and ultimately owning his own banking services company. With nearly as much real estate experience, Nelson’s work as a licensed commercial broker has included many multifamily projects.

about the books

          The book The New Landlord Powered by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is an exposé on the rental housing industry. It details how they implemented artificial intelligent-driven technology throughout the industry and its paradox of consequences.
          To understand the housing crisis more fully, between 2019 and December 2023, the author completed six independent studies covering all areas of the housing industry, spending over five years and 10,000 work hours on its production. It includes over 1,400 pages underpinned by over 3,500 cited references from over 10,000 pages of documents and nearly 500 quotes from industry insiders

           In February 2021, the findings of this research were shared with ProPublica, to break the story. In early 2023, the author received a Civil Investigative Demand (CID), similar to a subpoena, from the Department of Justice to turn over this work. These studies underpin the DOJ lawsuit against the owner and manager of the industry's common pricing platform, RealPage, for, amongst other offenses, price fixing.
          This work also underpins the various lawsuits against RealPage and this industry for price fixing, including the suits filed by the various States Attorneys General. The author maintains consulting agreements and is an expert witness with multiple legal firms prosecuting RealPage.

This research underpins the legal cases against RealPage, the owner and operator of the industry's common pricing platform (Platform).

Target Audience: Housing policymakers, federal, state, and local government agencies and elected officials, the legal community, Academia, and affordable housing activists.

Book 2 (Short intro)

            The results of the studies are being released in two versions. The first version will be released through a book, The New Landlord Powered by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, which summarizes the studies written in layperson's terminology or a non-legal version. It describes how the technology is designed to work, the massive profits it generates, and the negative impact on the tenants. It also contains stories from housed and unhoused tenants and the profound effect this technology has had on their lives. The book has 145 reading pages and about 49,000 words.

           The second is the legal version, or white paper, that underpins the legal cases against RealPage and the industry and is recommended for those seeking greater technical resources. It summarizes the six studies into about 350 pages and contains thousands of citations and references. This version will be released through this website.

Coming Soon - October 2024

Book 1 (Short intro)

Stealing Home: How AI is Hijacking the American Dream


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“Stealing Home is a brilliantly researched book into why rental prices are escalating throughout the country. We must demand answers from those who can fix this crisis. Nelson shows us what we can and must do to fix this. Reporters, please read and investigate this. Now!”
Julie Blacklow
Former KING-5 Seattle Investigative Journalist

“James Nelson has done the movement for affordable housing a huge favor by writing this explosive new book about Artificial Intelligence technology. Tenants threatened with evictions can fight back against landlord’s greed. Nelson’s research justifies a thorough investigation by the responsible public officials.”
Mike Withey
Human rights lawyer, former president of the Public Justice Foundation

“Nelson’s compelling research correlates artificial intelligence, rising rental prices, and in many cases, discrimination within AI algorithms during a time when we need answers and accountability for sky-rocketing multifamily rental rates.”
T’wina Nobles
President, and CEO, Tacoma Urban League