NLIHC to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Federal Efforts to Keep Americans Housed during the Pandemic

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel will testify at a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus hearing, “Oversight of Pandemic Evictions: Assessing Abuses by Corporate Landlords and Federal Efforts to keep Americans in their Homes,” on Tuesday, July 27 at 10:30 am ET. The hearing will address misconduct by large-scale corporate landlords during the pandemic, including the failure of some landlord companies to comply with the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or accept emergency rental assistance (ERA). Additionally, the hearing will focus on ERA best practices and what further action must be taken to prevent an historic wave of evictions this summer and fall.

Diane will address the federal response to pandemic-related housing needs, including the essential protections provided under the CDC eviction moratorium and the $46.5 billion for ERA to assist low-income renters address rent and utility arrears. She will highlight best practices for state and local implementation of ERA based on NLIHC’s tracking and analysis of more than 1,000 state and local rental assistance programs created or expanded during the pandemic, including over 450 programs funded through the $25 billion appropriated for the Treasury ERA program under the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package. Diane will outline additional federal actions needed to improve the distribution of ERA and address the urgent need for Congress or the White House to extend and strengthen the moratorium to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and to give states and cities more time to distribute critical ERA resources. In addition to addressing immediate solutions to keeping millions of renters stably housed, Diane will discuss long-term solutions to the underlying shortage of affordable homes and robust protections for the lowest-income renters.

Despite the availability of ERA funds and the eviction moratorium, some large landlords have aggressively moved to evict tenants throughout the pandemic. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC), chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent letters on July 19 to four corporate landlord groups requesting information their eviction practices during the pandemic (see Memo, 7/26). NLIHC has raised similar concerns about growing reports of landlords, including those who receive federally backed loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who continue to evict renters from their homes without consequence. At the end of March, NLIHC and more than 2,300 national, state, and local organizations and elected officials urged the Biden administration not only to extend the eviction moratorium but also to address the order’s shortcomings and enforce its protections. 

Watch the hearing at:

Diane’s testimony at: