Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Holds Hearing on Housing in America

On March 16, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs conducted a hearing entitled, “Home = Life: The State of Housing in America.” The hearing explored the status of housing in America, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The witnesses included experts from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), Center for Responsible Lending, American Enterprise Institute Housing Center, and Housing Policy Council. The testimony frequently addressed the themes of residential zoning and density, racial homeownership and wealth gaps, affordable housing as a foundation for quality of life outcomes and national financial health, and mortgage lending reform. Dr. Chris Herbert of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies emphasized the necessity of public, private, and nonprofit entities working in concert to elevate the address of critical housing challenges to a national priority. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel focused on the pandemic’s exacerbation of the affordable housing crisis for renters with the lowest incomes. She also discussed how meaningful federal investments in affordable housing solutions will not only help the nation recover from the pandemic, but will also help the country become more just and equitable in its aftermath.

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