“Poor” Maxine Waters’ $4.5 Million Los Angeles Mansion Raises Questions-Misleading!

Summary of eRumor:

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) owns a $4.5 million Los Angeles mansion despite being an advocate for the poor and representing one of the country’s most poverty-stricken congressional districts.

The Truth:

Maxine Waters owns a number of homes in California, including a multi-million dollar mansion in California’s 37th District, which is outside the 43rd District that Waters had represented for nearly 30 years by 2017.

But key details and insinuations in the “Poor” Maxine Waters narrative are unproven or misleading. Waters home, for example, was located in the 43 District when she purchased it in 2004 — redistricting that followed placed Waters’ home a few blocks outside her home district. Also, real estate estimates put the homes value at about $2.8 million, well below the $4.5 million claimed in the narrative.

There are different variations of the narrative, but the gist is that Waters is a hypocrite for owning a $4.5 million mansion in south Los Angeles and refusing to live in her own ‘crime-stricken’ district, and that there are questions about how Waters amassed her wealth during a career in public service that had spanned four decades.

We’ll take a look at where, exactly, the “Poor” Maxine Waters narrative came from, and we’ll provide a little background on its individual points.

Where Did “Poor” Maxine Waters Claims Come From?

The narrative took shape in April 2017 after Maxine Waters emerged as a vocal opponent of President Trump. The right-wing website True Pundit reported on April 26, 2017, that “poverty warrior” Waters owned a $4.5 million mansion, another property worth up to $1.1 million and a time-share property in Palm Springs, adding that those were “savvy real estate acquisitions for a public servant with a $174,000 House of Representatives salary.”

In May 2017, Maxine Waters faced protestors holding sings that read “poverty pimp” and “impeach Waters” outside a town hall in her home district, which received widespread media coverage that advanced the narrative. Then, in July 2017, the narrative re-emerged after Waters said that Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson “doesn’t care about people in public housing.”

Maxine Waters’ comments about Ben Carson rekindled the Poor Maxine narrative, and it was circulating in YouTube videos and blog posts like this one appearing at the fringe website News Target. We’ll take a look at a few of the individual claims that resurface in different variations.

Maxine Waters Lives in a $4.5 Million Mansion, Refuses to Live in Her Home Congressional District-Misleading!

Maxine Waters owns multiple properties in southern California. As reported, one of them is a multi-million home located in a section of Hancock Park that sits in the 34th District, not the 43 District that Waters represents.

Maxine Waters listed the value of the home as $1 million to $5 million on financial disclosure statements for 2014 (the most recent available). Real estate records indicate that the home was last sold in 2004, and that its current value is about $2.8 million (not $4.5 million). It’s difficult to gauge the market value of a home that hasn’t been sold in over 10 years, but it’s not clear exactly how the $4.5 million price tag from the Poor Maxine narrative was formulated.

And it’s true that Maxine Waters’ home is located outside her home congressional district, but that’s because of redistricting after she purchased the home. Waters home is located in an area of south Los Angeles where four congressional district diverge, often creating confusion among residents. The Los Angeles Times reports that it’s about a three minute walk from Waters’ home to her congressional district:

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is registered to vote at her home in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood in South Los Angeles. The home used to be within the boundaries of her district, until redistricting shifted some of Waters’ neighbors into the 37th District now represented by Democratic Rep. Karen Bass.

Waters’ 43rd District is about a three-minute walk from her front door around the corner and across Vermont Avenue. That is news to some voters on her block who figured their famous neighbor — the one who has earned national headlinesover the course of her 13 terms in Congress — represents them in Washington.

Considering current circumstances, questions about the value of Maxine Waters’ home, and that her home was located in the 43rd District when she purchased it, we’re calling this one “misleading.”

Questions About How Maxine Waters Amassed Her Wealth-Unproven! 

The “Poor Maxine” narrative insinuates that shady dealings could explain how a public servant earning a salary of $174,000 per year could afford a multi-million home and a number of additional real estate holdings. But the narrative doesn’t attempt to provide any evidence that Waters was involved in shady dealings.

And the narrative’s insinuation that the Waters are a single-income household doesn’t hold up. Maxine’s husband, Sidney Waters, is a former NFL football player, Mercedes dealer and minority business dealer who partnered with former teammate and NFL great Jim Brown. In addition to working as an automotive consultant, Sidney receives pensions from the NFL and Mercedes-Benz, in addition to a few other sources of income. according to the couple’s financial disclosures.

It’s not clear exactly how much income Sidney Waters earns each year, but the idea that Maxine’s congressional salary provides the couple’s only source of income is false.

But this isn’t the first time questions have been raised about the Waters’ income. We previously investigated claims that Maxine Waters paid her daughter $750,000 to send campaign mailers and found it to be mostly true. Still, the Poor Maxine narrative doesn’t make any specific claims or provide evidence, so we’re calling this one “unproven.”