The House Financial Services Committee held a remote hearing on July 23 on "The HEROES Act: Providing for a Strong Economic Recovery from COVID-19.” Witnesses included Shaun Donovan, former HUD secretary and former director of the Office of Management and Budget; Robert Reich, former secretary of the Department of Labor; John Rogers, chairman, co-CEO and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments, and Dr. Steven Davis, labor economist and professor of international business and economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The witnesses offered testimony and answered questions about the current state of the labor, housing, and rental markets, and provided potential policy solutions to address the growing economic crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The looming cessation of expanded federal unemployment benefits, the expiration of eviction moratoriums, and strategies for economic recovery were the primary focus of the hearing.
Former Secretary Donovan provided detailed testimony on the current eviction crisis, including recommendations for Congressional action to improve HUD’s implementation of funds, a concern frequently voiced by Republican House members during the hearing. He fielded questions from representatives concerning additional supports needed to keep people in their homes, repeatedly highlighting the efficacy of the Section 8 voucher program, Emergency Solutions Grants, and increased funding for legal aid and housing counseling services. Former Secretary Reich also fielded questions about the current state of housing, often characterizing the looming eviction crisis and widespread homelessness that would result as imminent and “catastrophic.”
Watch the full hearing and access witness testimony at: https://tinyurl.com/yyfhqnp5