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House Financial Services Committee Holds Hearing on Risks of Homelessness

David Weber, PHADA Policy Analyst

On Tuesday, January 14, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing entitled “On the Brink of Homelessness: How the Affordable Housing Crisis and the Gentrification of America Is Leaving Families Vulnerable.” Hearing witnesses featured Karen Chapple, Professor and Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkley; Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, and Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and Director of the Eviction Lab, Princeton University; Priya Jayachandran, President of the National Housing Trust; Jeffrey Williams, a Tenant Advocate; and Michael Hendrix, Director of State and Local Policy at the Manhattan Institute. Links to the official Hearing Memo, copies of submitted witness testimony, the bills listed below, and a webcast of the hearing can be found here. Legislative Proposals highlighted in the hearing memo were as follows:

  • H. R.1856, The Ending Homelessness Act of 2019 introduced by Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) which would authorize $13.27 billion over 5 years for a variety of housing programs including new units, new vouchers, case management, and technical assistance.
  • H.R.5187, the Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2019 sponsored by Chairwoman Waters that would authorize over $100 billion in investments in affordable housing infrastructure, including $70 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund. (See our coverage in the December 11, 2019 Advocate).
  • The Stable Families Act discussion draft from Representative William Lacy Clay that would establish a demonstration program to provide short-term financial assistance to extremely low-income families at risk of eviction.
  • The Housing Emergencies Lifeline Program (HELP) Act of 2019 discussion draft from Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) to provide protections for tenants who have been eviction from their homes by making several key changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and to create a database of eviction information.

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