On January 14, NHT President and CEO Priya Jayachandran testified before the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing entitled, “On the brink of homelessness: How the affordable housing crisis leaves families vulnerable.” Her testimony described how affordable housing preservation can ensure that residents with low incomes can remain in gentrifying neighborhoods, so they can benefit from the improved access to job opportunities, good schools, transit, and health care. You can view Priya's written testimony here.
Other witnesses included Karen Chapple of the University of California, Berkeley; Matthew Desmond of Princeton University; Jeffrey Williams, a tenant advocate; and Michael Hendrix of the Manhattan Institute. The hearing focused on how at-risk households can be protected from homelessness due to gentrification and eviction. Many of the Republican Members of Congress espoused an increasingly common perspective that relaxing regulations and zoning requirements will enable the construction industry to build more housing, which they believe will resolve the nation’s affordability crisis. Democratic Members and witnesses disagreed, calling for federal, state, and local resources and policies to ensure housing affordability and tenant protections. You can view the entire hearing, including Priya’s and the other witness’ testimony, here.