NLIHC to Testify at Congressional Hearing on How Renters and Communities Are Impacted by Current Housing Market

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel will testify at a Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing, “‘The Rent Eats First:’ How Renters and Communities are Impacted by Today’s Housing Market,” on Tuesday, August 2 at 10:00 am ET. Learn more about the hearing and watch the livestream at:

In her testimony, Diane will address the underlying causes of the affordable housing crisis, the current state of the housing market, and both the immediate and long-term federal policy solutions needed to ensure that renters with the lowest incomes have an affordable place to call home. Diane will discuss how the severe shortage of affordable rental housing and widening gap between incomes and housing costs are impacting low-income renters, putting them at risk of housing instability and, in worst cases, homelessness.

As emergency rental assistance funds are depleted and pandemic-era renter protections expire, renters are faced with soaring inflation, skyrocketing rents, increased evictions, and in many communities, more homelessness. At the same time, real estate investors have been purchasing low-cost homes at an unprecedented rate, likely driving further increases in rental prices. Diane will highlight the negative impacts that increased investor purchases can have on renters and communities, including decreased affordability, more fees, lack of upkeep, increased eviction, and displacement, particularly within Black neighborhoods. She will address how the lack of national renter protections allows institutional investors, corporate landlords, and others to engage in abusive practices for their own financial gain, placing tenants at risk of unjust treatment, housing instability, and eviction.

In her testimony, Diane will outline immediate actions that the Biden administration must take to protect America’s lowest-income and most marginalized renters from the harmful impact of inflation and rising rents, high rates of eviction fillings, and increased homelessness in some communities. She will also call on Congress to increase investments in long-term solutions to the underlying shortage of affordable, accessible homes and insufficient renter protections for the lowest-income people. Addressing the roots of the housing affordability problem requires a sustained commitment to bridging the gap between incomes and rent through: universal rental assistance, investing in new affordable housing and preserving affordable rental homes that already exist for America’s lowest-income and most marginalized renters, providing emergency assistance to stabilize renters when they experience financial shocks, and establishing and enforcing strong renter protections.

The full list of hearing witnesses include:

  • Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC
  • Matthew Desmond, professor of sociology and director of Princeton University’s Eviction Lab
  • Laura Brunner, president and CEO of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority
  • Rosanna Morey, small property owner
  • Darion Dunn, managing partner at Atlantica Properties

Learn more about the hearing and watch the livestream at: