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tv   Hearing on Evictions During COVID-19  CSPAN  July 27, 2021 11:56pm-2:03am EDT

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now a hearing on evictions during the covid-19 pandemic. members of the house coronavirus task force committee asked witnesses about the federal emergency rental assistance program and reports of ongoing evictions during the cdc's moratorium. this is two hours.
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>> [inaudible conversations] welcome, everybody. today our select subcommittee is having a hybrid hearing for some members will appear in person and others may appear remotely on zoom. since some members are appearing in person, let me first remind everyone that pursuant to the guidance in the house attending
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physicians, all individuals who are not fully vaccinated for covid-19 are required to wear masks. and also a few reminders of the hearings. those members appear in person you will be able to see members again remotely on the two monitors in front of you. on one monitor you will see all the members appear remotely at once in what is known in zoom as the gallery view. on the other you will see each person speaking when they are speaking including members who are appearing remotely. for those members appearing remotely, you can also see each person speaking during the hearing. whether they are in person or remote. as long as you have your zoom
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set to active speaker view. if you have any questions about this, please contact the committee staff immediately. let me also remind everyone of the house procedures that apply to the hybrid hearings. the timing is visible in the room directly in front of you. for those who may be remote we have a tire that should be visible on your screen when you are in thumbnail view and for members that may be appearing remotely, a few other reminders. the house rules require that we see you so please, have your cameras turn on at all times, not just when you are speaking.
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members who are not recognized should remain muted to minimize background noise and feedback. i will recognize the members who verbally you may use the chat function to send the request or you may unmute your microphone to seek recognition.
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the committee staff will ensure that we are made aware and i will recognize you. now at the request of the housing studio i will count down from ten and of the live stream will begin when i get down to one. ten, eight -- [laughter] nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. good morning. the house committee will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare you recess
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of the committee at any time. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. we are here discussing an issue of the utmost importance, and ensuring the coronavirus pandemic is in the loss of life for more than 600,000 americans does not result in the loss of stable homes for millions more. as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the nation, millions of americans lost their jobs and face significant challenges making ends meet. for these americans, one of the most pressing challenges has been and ensuring that the loss of a job does not also mean the loss of a roof over the families
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heads. even as the american economy continues to recover, millions of families still live in fear of falling behind on their rent and being forced from their homes. for the aggressive and unjustified eviction practices by some landlords, i am deeply troubled by reports that many large have been aggressively and unfairly attempting to remove thousands of americans from their homes during this pandemic. court records show multiple large corporate landlords, some of whom control tens of thousands of rental units have moved to large numbers of tenants over the course of the
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pandemic and the availability of rental assistance funds. one large landlord for example has filed to evict over 2,000 tenants during the pandemic totaling over a quarter of the company's tenants. in the widespread minority communities and in view of this information the select subcommittee has initiated an investigation into some of the large corporate landlords alleged to be engaged in these practices. this investigation would seek to find out whether these laws are refusing to cooperate with rental assistance programs and
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attempting to force families out of their homes unfairly and needlessly. let me be clear the actions of these are unacceptable. they must stop immediately. these are especially unacceptable because they are unnecessary. congress has taken action to ensure they can receive financial help to stay in their homes. of course the ultimate recipient of these funds are the landlords to whom rent is paid. today it congress has appropriated over 46 billion from the emergency rental
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assistance including $21.5 billion from the american rescue act. so those affected by the pandemic can pay their rent and stay in their homes. these funds are being distributed through state and local governance who know their communities and housing challenges best. the biden harris administration has acted aggressively to protect from eviction taking a whole of government approach to prevent the crisis the administration has worked to speed up the distribution of rental assistance funds by states and localities one of their duty to inform tenants of their rights and urge the state
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courts to divert eviction cases to rental assistance programs to keep people in their homes they've also pushed state and local governments to distribute funds effectively, efficiently and equitably. while some are still having challenges, several states and localities have done an excellent job in distributing rental relief funds. in texas, the city of houston and harris county have distributed over $137 million in rental relief funds to over 36,000 families. virginia has distributed over
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$220 million in assistance funds and another 33,000 hospitals. and in kentucky rental assistance program has dispersed over $22 million to those 4,300 households. all states and localities successful examples and adopt best practices for distributing aid and landlords must work with tenants and rental assistance programs to avoid needless evictions. the distribution of assistance nationwide is rapidly increasing. rental assistance funds help 85,000 households from january
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to march. 100,000 in april. 160,000 in may and 290,000 in june. the distribution of funds in june was greater than all previous months combined and i am confident that this progress is continuing. when the house returns to session following the august work period we plan to invite the treasury secretary janet yellen to testify on the implementation of this and all of the essential relief programs established by congress through the american rescue plan and previous coronavirus legislation that are being administered by her department.
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i look forward to that hearing and i'm hopeful the secretary's schedule will allow her to appear before us, and i know from the recent public statements that the ranking member does as well. it is equally important that the select subcommittee here from today's witnesses who bring a wealth of knowledge and important perspectives on this issue. i look forward to hearing from each of them about the challenges we face as americans continue to get vaccinated and our economy continues to improve. we must work together to prevent the pandemic from precipitating an eviction crisis. congress has already taken
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action to ensure that american families are not evicted from their homes. we must ensure that the law is followed and the rental assistance funds congress provided are accessible to all who need them. i now yield to the ranking member for his opening statement. thank you, mr. chair man and appreciate you holding this hearing and look forward to hearing from the witnesses. the biggest economic challenge we face right now continues to be president biden's inflation crisis. the cost of housing, the cost of gasoline, groceries, cars, basic necessities of life have skyrocketed. rather than addressing the problem and proposing solutions, the biden administration's answer is don't worry, just keep printing more money and hope that inflation will just
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magically disappear. mr. chairman, these huge price spikes are not going to magically disappear. especially when liberals and socialists continue the reckless policies. the american people know that the massive increase in government spending we've seen in these last few months is responsible for the rising cost of prices that we pay for for everyday household items. by the way this is a tax on american working families and what is president biden's answer? he's pushing for an additional $4 trillion in new taxes and spending. exactly the opposite of what america needs right now. what america needs at this moment is to stay on the path towards fully reopening. we cannot slide backwards. schools must reopen for in person learning. the cost our children have already paid is too high. businesses need to continue
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bringing back employees and the federal government needs to stop paying people more to stay home than to go back to work. the federal government needs to stop undermining the relationship between landlord and tenant and let the market function properly. what has allowed us to get back to some normalcy hasn't been government spending. it certainly hasn't been government opposed lockdowns. that is the opposite of normalcy. what has gotten us back on the path to opening is getting control of this invisible enemy. in america we did that by creating, producing and distributing safe and effective vaccines. as every member of the subcommittee knows, i as ranking member as well as many of us here have been advocating for and encouraging vaccines. for over a year and we also highlighted the success of operation warp speed and bringing multiple vaccines to families in record time.
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in fact, i called out those who talk down the vaccine during the last year when you saw a number of people from president biden and now vice president harris on down who were actually promoting vaccine hesitancy. they ought to come back out and admit they shouldn't have done it that they were wrong in promoting that. in fact, when president biden took office and created the goal of 100 million shots in a day which by the way we were already on track to administer the day he took office, many of us said the president should be more ambitious and increase the goal to 200 million a day. ultimately, president biden and braced that goal. mr. chairman, you and i worked together on the vaccine hesitancy hearing. we invited witnesses. our views have been clear and consistent if you want to get vaccinated, it is safe, effective, free and available.
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but i've also been clear if the goal is to get more people vaccinated, shaming people and mandating those vaccinations won't work. censoring the truth won't work either. it only breeds more distrust. let's all work together to get the facts out to people, particularly populations that continue to display hesitancy. let's present the evidence but also reassure individuals that the decision is theirs. if someone has a concern or question, now is the time to have the conversation with their doctor. i believe that strategy will ultimately maximize the number of americans who choose to take the vaccine. after all this is a medical decision, not a political decision. according to the mayo clinic, 87% of americans over the age of 75 have already received at least one dose of the vaccine. more than 90% of individuals age 65 to 74 have received at least
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one dose. since vaccinations began, emergency room visits related to the virus have declined 77% among older adults versus remember at the outbreak of the pandemic that was a population that was experiencing the largest percentage of deaths, just seniors in nursing homes alone were at one point responsible for over 40% of deaths when they represented less than 1% of the population. while we are seeing a breakthrough in infections, that is infections that occur after vaccinations, those illnesses tend to be milder than the infections among unvaccinated people. we know no vaccine is 100% effective, but a very small percentage of the vaccinated individuals we know will get sick. we've seen the anecdotal evidence but that isn't evidence that it didn't work. the delta variant is spreading at an alarming rate. i am especially now concerned about the new variant we are seeing come from south and central america. the biden administration must
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address the self-created border crisis. doctor fauci told this subcommittee that the biden administration was violating their own guidance at the border by failing to test and for allowing too many people to be crammed into cages many with covid at detention facilities only to then be shipped around the country and increased spread of the virus. many of us talked about this and have gone down and seen the crisis at the border. border patrol agents will tell you that many coming across number one are not being tested but ultimately as they go into these disillusioned facilities packed together, some have it and then they spread it to everybody else. if an american citizen today went to mexico for summer vacation, they are not allowed to get on an airplane and fly back into america without first having a negative covid test. yet someone can have covid, come across the border illegally and be welcomed into the country and
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then given a ticket to get on a plane or bus and sent throughout america which by the way the biden administration won't even tell us where they are going, so communities can't even prepare for this outbreak. we are running out of time to stop the variant in fact the dangerous variant is spreading in countries like peru and now with the open border crisis we are seeing many illegals starting to spread the claimed dress variant into america. we saw a few more pop up in texas died along the border where people are showing up with the variant as we worry about the delta variant which is dangerous we should also be worried about this new variant that is, again and again as doctor fauci testified in the past that when president trump said we are going to stop flights from coming in from china at the beginning, it saved american lives. doctor fauci also said the decision to stop flights from europe as europe was getting an
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outbreak that saved american lives. i would call on president biden to look at the numbers of the variant that's coming in from south america and he should get control of the southern border to stop the spread of the variant into america. we shouldn't be reopening or flooding the economy with trillions more in government spending. we should be scaling back the emergency federal programs. the eviction moratorium i do realize that that is the subject of today's hearing this eviction moratorium is an actual example. september 1st of 2020 the cdc took the step of issuing a temporary national moratorium of evictions for the nonpayment of rent under the guide of limiting the spread of covid and protecting low income families who are struggling. but of course in the december omnibus, congress appropriated
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$25 billion for emergency rental assistance to eliminate that debt, congress also had an additional $21 billion in a second emergency rental program. the american rescue plan for a total of $46 million in emergency rental assistance funds to be distributed by the biden administration. yet, as of the end of june, the biden administration pathetically distributed less than 10% of this money to the renters in need of assistance. the biden administration has mismanaged the program and unfortunately the request to bring in the secretary yellen today was denied. glad to hear she will finally be coming weeks later, but we need those answers today about why that program is being so mismanaged. it's been heavily felled by mom and pop landlords who depend on rental income for their livelihoods. the extension of the moratorium at the same time by the way they
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pay more people not to work has forced many renters to sell the rental property or to have to move into their own rental property as they are selling other properties just to pay their bills. the moratorium is an example of why we need to stay focused on reopening america setting aside for a moment a series of federal judges have found the moratorium to be unconstitutional. the fact is the administration's response to renters in need has not worked and has hurt as many people as it's helped. the federal government has failed miserably at managing the landlord-tenant relationship. let's focus on getting the facts out to people. it's safe to reopen, we've done well with vaccinating vulnerable populations. deaths have decreased dramatically but with the new variance, now is a good time for all those who have been hesitant to take a look at getting vaccinated and with that,
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mr. chairman. >> thank you very much mr. scalise. i am pleased to welcome today's witnesses. i would first like to introduce appearing with us virtually. for a company owned by a large private equity firm, twice tried to force her and her son out of their home. these attempted evictions came even though she filed for protection under the cdc eviction moratorium and secured offers of rental assistance funds. difficult experience highlights the abusive tactics that some corporate landlords used against their tenants and it makes clear the disruptive impact that aggressive evictions have on
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working families. i'd also like to welcome mr. jim baker from the private equity stakeholder process was done significant research and monitored eviction trends by the large corporate landlords who over the course of the pandemic. next i welcome ms. diane from the national low income housing coalition whose organization has studied the impact of the pandemic on housing stability and struggling americans. i would also like to welcome renée so lease who has appeared virtually. baker replayed to discuss the practices for local rental assistance.
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helping to administer the city and has the rental assistance program. finally, i want to welcome mr. joel griffith, the research fellow for the institute for economic freedom and opportunity at the heritage foundation. thank you all for taking the time to testify about this critical issue. i look forward to hearing from all of you and hope we can continue to present a pandemic eviction crisis. will the witnesses please rise and raise their right hands? do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god?
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you may be seated let the record to show the witnesses answered in the affirmative. without objection, your written statements will be made part of the record. we will hear first from mr. baker. mr. baker, you are recognized for five minutes for your opening statements. chairman clyburn, ranking member scalise, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. my name is jim baker with the private equity stickler project, nonprofit focused on tracking the impacts of private equity firms and similar wall street firms. ordinary people including residents of apartments, mental lead governmental homes and early in the pandemic we attract filings by private equity firms and other large landlords across dozens of counties in several states representing about 10% of
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the u.s. population focusing on corporate landlords with a thousand units of housing or more. in the economies we track the landlords filed to evict at least 75,000 residents since the administration put a moratorium in place to hold evictions last september. we know this just scratches the surface. these filings have had renters of color especially hard for example about 16,000 eviction actions and majority in georgia since september. in 2021, progress owned by private equity firms and areas management have filed to evict residents in the clayton counties that more than seven times were the rate where they had residents and majority white counties in florida. in many of the counties we track the corporate landlords have consistently accounted for the majority of all filings. in may the landlords accounted for 74% of eviction filings in the cap county georgia and 62%
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in maricopa county arizona. 53% of the filings in hillsborough county florida and harris county texas. since last september some of the world's largest asset managers that manage trillions of dollars filed including morgan stanley, eaton vance, greatest all real estate partners, the carlyle group, starwood capital, credentialed and cbre. while many faced hardships during the pandemic many corporate landlords have done extremely well and are growing in buying more housing. private equity firms that own rental home companies, progress residential together filed at least 1700 eviction actions since last september. it's run by a former goldman sachs banker who made a fortune during the 2008 financial crisis betting against the mortgage market getting rich is millions of homeowners lost their homes
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to foreclosure. in april of 2021, the company is filing evictions and he purchased a $25 million mansion in miami beach. the publicly traded investment homes is the largest in the u.s. and more than 880 since last september and the hardship declaration for several residents the stock price increased by more than 44% over the last year. canadian owned apartment companies filed to evict 30% of the residents since april of 2020. some large landlords continue to file the cases against residents rather than working with them to access almost 50 billion in rental assistance and congress made available to pay back rent and stay in their homes. front yard residential for example filed 233 residents in the first eight days of january just days after they made rental assistance available. reuters reported how invitation
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homes refused to accept 4,000 and county program funds from a bus driver in florida. some have taken a different path. we noticed nine eviction filings by publicly traded landlords american homes for rent between september 2020 and march of 2021. private equity substantially reduced the eviction filings in nevada and arizona earlier this year. eviction isn't a foregone conclusion but the decision that landlords even large corporate landlords make. we applaud the subcommittee for initiating investigations into multiple landlords that have each filed hundreds of actions especially since these actions may displace thousands of residents and may remain on the record for years. it could impact the housing into the future. organizations violating the moratorium may be subject to a fine of over $200,000 for
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violation. the subcommittee should recommend action by the department of justice to seek penalties from landlords that violated the eviction moratorium. in addition the subcommittee should specifically assess whether any landlords violated the civil rights by disproportionately filing to evict black renters or others of color. .. >> and then to make it tighter
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and tighter the home is not in the greatest condition but livable. although i occasionally had money that was tight and never had eviction problems and in 2020 i lost my customer service job due to the pandemic and then i was in between jobs i fell behind my rent. i filled out and give my landlord a copy of the declaration in december 2020. i found a local nonprofit.
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and once the eviction and the cdc order was extended i was finally able to speak with me leasing agent's and then i applied for unemployment benefits right away and then i was approved for unemployment. even got it that - - i gas dick —- disconnection known it notice and then then they were trying to put of action against me. love every 12, the very day they began accepting
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applications. and then trying to negotiate a resolution with my landlord around mid april and then coming back with a counter offer and at the same time island gave me a notice they would not renew my lease when it expired in may. and then if i moved out immediately even before the lease was up and before the order expired they would forgive the rent balance that my agent said i could be immediately evicted and the
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cdc order would not apply to me. but i can find a place to find it that quickly but they wanted me out. they made it clear. the homelessness became a reality for me i was worried would have nowhere to go bad a shelter i was right about our health and my son's school and to make sure my children felt safe and secure in their home. i never had to face this type of stress before and i had no idea and after the rental assistance in my new home.
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and then they show me that i was. with no evictions on my record and then also in the middle of a pandemic and as they focus and a half to get a second job and then to contribute to my expenses. my senate quit school i had to start over now he can thrive but i worry about the impact it will have on him. i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you very much. now we will hear's from the next witness for five minutes. >> thank you chairman and ranking member and those to be
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housed is set to expire this weekend. and those that are at heightened risk of losing their homes. an estimated 80 percent of those families live in communities with adult are very aware covid-19 is surging emergency rental assistance to keep tenants stable he houston yet to reach the vast majority of renters in need. having millions of families lose their homes would be tragic and consequential at any time it is especially so with abundant resources to pay the rent that may not reach them in time the urgent situation demands attention at all levels.
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when congress extended 46 billion for rental assistance state and local governments got to work to create new programs and distribute aid less significant and time-consuming undertaking during a global pandemic but for a variety of reasons laid out in my written testimony that funds are getting out much too slowly as the expiratory mother moratorium. nearly half of all states and more than 100 cities have spent less than 5 percent of total era allocations. fifteen states has spent less than 2 percent of their funds through june. some states and cities are successfully whipping at programs to get money quickly to those who need it but many more need to dramatically improve expedite their efforts. at this time even if they
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do, they can't reach all six.5 million families in need before the moratorium expires this week. states and cities need more time. the biden administration must extend the federal eviction moratorium the federal court cases make broad extension impossible they should consider and implement all possible alternatives. the delta. low vaccination rates in communities with high eviction filings and the slow rate of distributing era make the necessity abundantly clear. states and cities must improve and expedite to those who need it. our research shows that successful year a programs are visible and accessible and preventive of evictions and housing instability. all administrator should do
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outreach and have simple applications use eligibility wherever possible and provide direct to tenant assistance were members refuse to participate and learn and improve as needs evolve in the biden administration should continue as they have been to aggressively urge and empower and push states and cities to do more and better. for the longer term congress must repair the gaping holes in the social safety net that brought us again and again to the global health emergency congress should advance of the infrastructure spending bill and that would expand to universal the available having
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that fully funded and available would help the country and then to increase the supply of homes for the lowest income people and with the national housing trust fund. and then to keep family stabilized during the crisis and with a long-term harm with with the right to counsel. with six.5 million families with the ongoing pandemic policy members and stake holders must do more to improve programs extend programs and invest in long-term solutions to make homes affordable to the lowest income people thank you for
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the opportunity to testify today. >> you are now recognized for five minutes. >> i am the chief program officer. with the largest community development we are proud to serve other regions across the great state of texas and this morning i like to share with you the experience as an administrator let me start by thanking you in the leaders for the much-needed rental assistance funding to fellow americans.
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in early 2020 the covid-19 pandemic had been spreading throughout the region impacting our economy and leaders from across the region spring into action to identify ways to ease the profound financial burdens placed on our communities. soon thereafter to establish the housing stability task force led and overseen by texas state representative and president and ceo margaret odom. this included regional leaders of the broad base of experience and expertise. and community-based organizations landlords legal aid agencies and representatives from the city and the county. through this collective effort it was decided the best way
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forward to effectively serve tenants and landlords we needed to create one program for the entire region with a single point of enrollment. that decision in my opinion was a catalyst to pave the way for the ultimate success of the emergency rental assistance program. next assuming initial responsibility for the city of houston and harris county. despite the best efforts it's clear the economic impact was continuing in the need for rental assistance was growing and growing. we knew any additional resources would need to be distributed quickly and effectively and that's weighing catholic charities joined our efforts to be a second administrator of the program to help expand the capacity of eligibility and application and payments together we wasted no time and
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lessons from 2020 and quickly in 2021. nine local organizations and those focus on our reach of tenant and landlord to help identify addressing gaps in the system and then to expand the regional capacity to focus on tenants and landlord eligibility and payments also in an effort to focus on resources on eviction diversion our partners at the alliance of houston help establish eviction divergent program. this provides partner advocates and rental assistance to tenants who are already in eviction proceedings. also worth mentioning is
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stakeholder bias in the initial strategy we recognize the landlords and tenants play a valuable role in the distribution of rental assistance funds. it works for both parties and make it subjective to keep families in their homes. to accomplish this we have separate outreach communication and enrollment plans for the landlords and tenants. it all came together because of the great partner with a nonprofit systems salacious selection center through the disaster recovery efforts and application processes in light coordinated tools was streamlined data analysis and on that now i would like to point out that data is critical we have a real-time dashboard where funds are distributed for the region to
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prosper it is imperative to have equitable ask access. in conclusion and then to distribute over 137 million and we are not done yet we are now processing applications for 53 million era to funding. happy to have any questions that you are committee members may have. >> we now hear from mr. griffin. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today. these views are my own. and then to the entire swath
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of economic activity. and then with that eviction process in court with the end of 2020 and then to renew and extend that band three times. and eviction moratorium allows many who are not even impacted financially to live rent free the complete eradication coincided with just a slight rise of two.2 percentage points july 2020 versus july 2019. the moratorium clearly allows many who are impacted by covid-19 more experiencing hardships to live rent free. to the extent the eviction moratorium did operate as the economic aid measure thanks to the covid shutdown this enable the local politicians to shirk responsibility for shuttering businesses and ruining livelihoods placing the cost squarely on the shoulders of property owners.
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to produce harmful ripple effects landlords have to increase for future moratorium and recruit losses from the past and prospective renters may find themselves subject to increase security deposits and tighter credit checks. and quality of life is landlords are unable to evict people it also has serious constitutional and legal concerns it may violate the takings clause with the contracts clause but without a doubt the cdc ban on injection proceedings is unlawful because the executive order last year was predicated on the public health service event the charter raises and
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examples of congressionally authorized actions for the cdc without full services that coming nowhere close to win eviction moratorium. and then to have a list of specifics that term can only refer and nationwide eviction bands like the limited congressionally approved action of inspecting were disinfecting specific buildings. and it shows it was economic relief not as a tool to protect the from spread of disease. if that was the goal the cdc would have hardly focused that stem from eviction that
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accounts for less than one tenth of the number but in short that action itself and then to have the economic impact violated the excess —- express will of congress. even if congress had authorize the cdc sat on —- self such authorization been on constitution and those powers granted by the constitution the commerce clause does not authorize this. and those that much speed necessary to cover into execution of congress as well banning access to state courts from exercising constitutional jurisdiction with the abuse of federal power it violates the
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first amendment of the constitution and in conclusion this auditorium exceeded powers delegated to it by congress creating economic policy through executive fiat infringed upon the fundamental constitutional right and eroded private property rights diminished contracts and upon the sovereignty of states by interfering with the jurisdictions of their courts we must be vigilant to not use the covid crisis as an excuse to further erode the rule of law and federalism and fundamental constitutional rights. if anyone's property rights is neither aggressive nor fair but what is an unconstitutional and unlawful is criminalizing access to the courts enforcing property owners to relinquish the rights. thank you. >> thank you mr. griffith. now each member will have five minutes for questions the
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chair recognizes himself for five minutes. i am particularly interested in the outreach part of your testimony. and i suspect from your projection from we plan to go in the future basically with past experience, will you share with us the hard to reach the you have experienced? and that would be helpful to the rest of us for what we need to plan for. >> so the outreach efforts
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have been critical one of the things we did was recognize the need was great but sometimes there are issues or other areas —- barriers for vulnerable populations. and effort to address those we have added to the emergency rental assistance program nine mobile organizations that partnered with us in these organizations focus on outreach to tenants and to identify the gaps in the system this has been very helpful because it expands the regional capacity and catholic charities with landlord eligibility and payments the approach which can continue
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has been a holistic approach to get the help they need with the relationships in the navigating agencies today over 4000 additional tenants signing up for the rental assistance program who received assistance from the name navigating agencies vulnerable populations with barriers with access to the resources they were chosen for their ability to connect to these diverse communities and the ability to remove such barriers such as technology, language, trust or any other accessibility to these programs. we are very thankful to these agencies and we look forward to the program.
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another piece of the strategy around outreach to ensure funding and resources are available to everyone is part of the work early on as they developed the dashboards to help us develop the dashboards and then we build a formula to take the social vulnerability index that looks at how many rental units are within each track and then looks at what we generate and what we did was create a map of the region of where resources were going and if there were gaps going
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out to the community as we identify those gaps in those agencies would go out and talk to landlords and tenants and build trust with the community get individuals like that for the program. >> did you have information where they were or where when housing was needed? >> it was that equity dashboard and then with each census tract with those different vulnerability elements such as poverty and education housing and transportation. we mapped that out for the region and then we crossed over where there were rental
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units. that was the data we use to reach these vulnerable populations. where was the funding going and specifically to those vulnerable neighborhoods. >> my time is expired. >> i recognize the ranking member for five minutes. >> the number of people we see coming across the board illegally but we had a hearing where doctor fauci testified cdc is violating their own guidance at the border to stop the spread. there is a video if we can run the video right now.
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>> look at these pictures doctor fauci does this look like social distancing to you? >> no. some as you said they are violating the guidance a restaurant would be shut down today if they were run like this but yet the biden administration is running this facility all of these young children who are 6 inches apart many without masks does that follow your guidance that you have issued? >> no. >> why would they not stop this? because president biden and vice president harris won't see this for themselves we keep urging strongly they go to the border.
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>> so as we can see he testified a few months ago that what we are seeing at the border by the biden administration is violating their own guidance how to properly protect people from spreading covid but since that hearing another 400,000 people have come across the border illegally and those are just the ones that were apprehended and those that are covid positive. now with the lambda variant that could potentially be more dangerous and adults have variant. it is widespread in peru coming across the border right now through south and central america into the united states. what point do we have a hearing to stop this at what point will president biden get control of the southern border so we don't see the lambda variant takeover in our
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country like the delta variant? to the issue at hand , regarding the vaccines, are they safe and effective quick. >> from what we know they are incredibly safe, very effective in my much of the country can return to normal. >> obviously operation warp speed coming to the market so quickly and is available to everyone who wants to take them? >> they are widely available every person who wants a vaccine can get one. available at no cost and across the entirety of the country you can get a vaccine with almost no weight, same day show up. >> you see some employers encouraging employees to get vaccinated so how many job
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openings are there in the country quick. >> we have over 9 million job openings right now. we have never had this many there are more job openings now then there are the total number of people unemployed in this country. >> that's something we are talking about is a good policy to borrow money from our children to pay people not to work at a time there are more job openings we have ever seen quick. >> we are mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future we are beginning to feel the impact right now as you noted cost-of-living is increasing at a greater clip than the actual income levels and we know for a fact borrowing money from the future to pay people not to work many people are choosing not to go back to work but the numbers are showing to compare and contrast those that cut off federal unemployment this one —- bonuses it is clear
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those have recovered. >> see people get back to their lives not having problems with rent because they are working again. for those that want to spend and spend do you think a multi- trillion dollars spending package would do anything to add to the inflation we already see? >> possibly one of the top advisers for obama warned about this as well every dollar that is appropriated by congress it's not income taxes we are borrowing is having the central bank by the data and print the many in the the negative consequences because of the cost of living would increase as a result.
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>> i yield back. >> . >> thank you very much mr. chairman i really do appreciate you calling this hearing but with the attack on the administration so to talk about what was happening with covid-19 and i'm looking at this article in the local newspaper that says after months of waiting gop lawmaker gets the first shot and it worked and it was on sunday
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was at a clinic in jefferson parish i don't think he received the second pfizer yet so the business becoming concerned and having religion vaccination. >> will you yield? >> not now. not right now. i appreciate he has come around because and with the hospitalization is on the rise vaccinations are a dividing line in the us with many conservative leaning americans choosing not to get vaccinated despite the consensus the covid vaccine is extremely safe and effective this is coming from an article written about mr. scalise and his hesitancy to get vaccinated.
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when asked he would say soon. the polarization to president donald trump even as he was second and hospitalized with covid-19 and has since gotten the vaccine himself. i want to insert that what the attack on this administration's how so now because the number one priority for me dealing with the american relief plan that we could increase the total amount of rental assistance at $27 billion want you to know that i am pleased because of
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her president and ceo we have been able to get all of this many not only organized working with the other advocacy groups she was responsible for the insistence to make sure we have adequate amounts to deal with rental assistance and worked with the biden administration that adopted many recommendations including the eviction moratorium with the faq sheet to accelerate and the distribution to encourage state court to adopt anti- a eviction diversion practices a whole of government to issue a new guidance with local
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distribution of funds and strongly encourages to develop diversion programs with access and removed experience of homelessness by establishing a commitment to direct grantees to remove linguistic barriers and encourages those to reduce those burdens and delays i also worry about the infections the moratorium will be over at the end of the month. it is absolutely necessary to pay attention to do everything that we can to make sure we simply are not having affections putting people out on the street as i am so appreciative for this hearing
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today. so i was always worried about distribution. this is huge it's not easy to do now we put our money in the hands of state government and for those elected officials to come up with the program to do what we intended to do. some have been more successful than others like we are hearing about in harris county. we have to get them all up to speed because this is absolutely necessary for protection for our families and i am concerned small landlords. not the big boys but those that depend on this for their mortgage payments and rental assistance for retirement income. i wish we could challenge the courts.
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i know what the decisions have been what they are saying that we need to go back to the court and please allow the administration to extend the moratorium on evictions. so it just happens i met with secretary ellen this morning and her and her staff are working very hard to do everything they can to assist the governor in the states to get the money out and i yield back. >> your time is expired. >> mr. chairman under the rules i have an opportunity to respond. >> thank you mr. chairman. if you go back months ago i had been promoting the vaccine and i have had a lot of conversations with my doctors for a number of reasons to make sure it was the right time for me that promoting the
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vaccine all along the way and calling people out who promoted vaccine hesitancy but if you start with president biden himself. >> if donald trump tells us to take it i will not take it. >> i don't trust the president and the fda. >> the american people don't trust the process. >> talk about vaccine hesitancy? that is. president biden needs to come out and admit he was wrong when he tried to discourage people from taking the vaccine late last year and anybody who was trying to give concerned about the vaccine or the fda
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owes an apology because that is not accurate so i will continue to promote the vaccine and the safety and effectiveness. >> i thank you are aware those comments were made before the vaccine was approved. >> but it was made during the process during operation warp speed. >> during the process is one thing that they were made before the vaccine. >> that people listen to that and said why the president or joe biden at the time we want people listening to that? number just to be clear the vaccine was not approved and the statements were made. with that the chair recognizes
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mr. jordan. >> that was in the middle of the campaign that's about politics. last week president biden said if you increase spending it will bring down inflation do you agree quick. >> i would love to know under what world that would work? we know right now the funds that are appropriate it comes from borrowing money and often times that's think to the central bank printing more money to purchase those that are injected into the economy. >> i disagree wholeheartedly. >> me to. think it is stupid anybody with a brain understands that will not work they spent money like crazy are you surprised that we now have inflation? the price of every single good
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and service is up to you surprised. >> i am not. the economy is reopening but trillions of dollars more that have been eject on —- injected into the economy and housing prices that are not even factored into that inflation rate with that housing bubble that is a burden now. >> the democratic economic plan step one continue to lockdown the economy spend like crazy if you are working
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we will raise your taxes the stupid economic policies you could imagine but that seems to be there plan. >> we know the longer-term objective is to fundamentally transform the economy they are not even high hiding it. now congress considers 95 percent of that will not even go to infrastructure but to revolutionize the industry but costing a typical family $8000 more per year to drive up the cost of everything that uses energy in the infrastructure plan. >> isn't it true people that make up to $99000 per year can be eligible for this program and not pay their rent? isn't that true? >> yes.
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states have leeway to put in those parameters. >> every employer my district cannot find people to work but 99000 you are in the top three or 4 percent of income earners. and then they just attest to that. $8999.99 i am eligible not to pay my rent. >> it also self a test if you are impacted by covid. >> that is the program. do you think not a single employer can find people to work you have help wanted signs we will give you a bonus if you come to work. >> anecdotally we know that
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happens we have been all over the south but we see that as far as the data and then to for people to want to go to work. >> you should be surprised if you can't find workers that's common sense this is the craziest. i have never seen a more crazy economic plan to what the democrats keep putting forward lockdown the economy, spend like crazy which they did but everyone with a brain knows it does and then we pay people not to work those that been working their tail off we will raise your taxes. such a deal we have a hearing on this we need to continue the program to make $9,899,000
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and to have the select committee that the "washington post" wanted to ask why we funding this research and wuhan china what is the origin of the virus even the "washington post" and wall street journal say that but know we will talk about this i yield back. >> the near time article found that they are finding evictions for those that are hardest hit by a covid roughly 68 percent of people are people of color so how are those findings impacting
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communities? and by the way do you have any data that shows how many of those making 99000 have not paid or filed for eviction? >> if i could take a moment that rent is not do under the federal of action moratorium what it does is prevent evictions and the spread of from covid-19. >> this is my time. >> ms. jordan we will not tolerate that. >> the rent is still due and
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low income renters have done all they could during the pandemic to pay it. have taken out loans they have put off buying store-bought food are paying for internet that their children need for virtual schools making trade-offs to pay when they can and when they can't they have fallen behind which is by the emergency rental assistance is so essential to pay the arrears. yes the pandemic has exacerbated inequities for people of color pre- pandemic with multiple systems people of color are disproportionately to be renters to be behind on rent to experience homelessness and covid-19 compounded these those that were disproportionately contract and i and latino workers
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disproportionately likely to lose jobs and people of color that fell behind on rent for 25 percent of all black renters behind on rent compared to 10 percent and of those six.5 million those households, the majority of them are people of color. >> it found the corporate partners have moved to evict tenants and majority black areas at a much higher rate and majority white areas can you explain how some corporate landlords? >> thank you representative. that is correct earlier this year the private equity firm
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along with management another private equity firm to buy more homes and earlier this year another called front yard residential was single-family rental homes and we noticed they were filing to evict hundreds of residents in clayton county to majority black counties do in georgia and frankly it was striking the large volume 113 filings in the first eight days of the year. so we were struck me took a closer look at the filings and compared it to other counties with a own homes in florida and to majority white counties in florida and found they were
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filing to evict renters in the majority black counties in georgia and at this .7 times higher rates at a much higher rate. >> what areas that you have been tracked by corporate landlords and is this a trend nationwide? >> as we look at the number of areas, cities or counties like maricopa county which is phoenix or harris county which is used in atlanta in the suburbs, we found the majority of eviction filings were by the large corporate landlords. not mom-and-pop landlords but the larger corporate landlords that were driving the
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evictions we looked at this a few different times so just after the cdc in action moratorium was put in place. >> the chair recognizes doctor green. >> thank you to the witnesses for being here today comes a few days before the moratorium and i say allegedly because it has already extended the band multiple times let me be clear the moratorium is on the most play in power grabs we have seen in the course of the pandemic with cdc has assumed it has the authority to do whatever i wanted no matter what the law said and how tenuous to public health the moratorium of two fundamental
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cornerstones of our republic. federalism in states rates congress never passed a law allowing the cdc to be in evictions but there is more than that congress cannot delegate the power to the federal government even if it wanted to even a generous reading of the commerce clause doesn't give them the power to do this that is the constitutional system of government and how can we claim private property rights of the federal government can that you cannot enforce the terms of the basic contract? it is the most shameless cases of bureaucracy gone rogue i have ever seen. and i am not sure how. how identical to what government has done to healthcare. let me explain.
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as more renters are subsidized especially mom-and-pop small business landlords they have to cost shift to other people and other ventures that drives up the price of overall rent and you add to that from the increase dollars rapidly increase seeing rates and inflation you basically get a horrible spiral that is occurring right now in the economy and that your share he affect is they are. the small rental companies cannot generate the revenue to cover the losses. so what do they do? they get out of business are you are left with our large huge rental companies because they can absorb the losses. that there be no doubt this
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destroys everyday americans who put their savings into owning a rental property it drives up the price of rent it drives up inflation and harming low income americans just like healthcare. just like government intrusion into healthcare. here is another example of something that is contributing to the increase in prices in my state of tennessee. people are leaving california, illinois and new york because of democrat liberal policies just like this. they are buying houses off the market sight unseen driving the price of properties through the roof. why? because of failed liberal policy of california and new york and illinois. great examples of this kind of stupidity. another example of well-meaning politicians who
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wind up destroying the very thing they want to save. we see it in healthcare arena healthcare company. i am a physician they intrude on the doctor-patient relationship and now they are intruding on the rancher relationship we see it everywhere. the small companies going out of business putting their life savings into two or three rental properties to get ahead and now they can't cover their losses. i only have time for one question so i am concerned the eviction moratorium impacts landlords not just in the short term but in the long-term with improvements to the distribution with that help those recover from the
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pandemic? >> immensely look at city by city like chicago and a barely distributed a dollar mean mild des moines has distributed 70 percent of the eight allocated. look at ease of use from new york city and des moines. >> why are they holding onto the dollars quick. >> a lot of them put strings attached look at the new york requirement if you are landlord and take the aid you have to agree you will not evict the person for future nonpayment that you will not increase rent prices the next year. there is so many strings attached they cannot make the decision to accept it because it will inhibit the ability of the profit for years to come.
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>> i assume that you yield back? i want to mention for the record that the cdc eviction moratorium was placed by the previous administration. not this one. i want that to be clear yield to mr. foster. >> i'm very concerned about the public health consequences of fighting this pandemic if we have a surge of evictions. the cdc establishes the moratorium has a detailed justification i urge everyone to read because at the time we did not know about the contagious aspects of this
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virus and ultimately we will get this answer because we have a big range of eviction policies of states and jurisdictions and see a spike of coronavirus in the affected populations. for people who become homeless the end up in places it's hard for social distancing it wasn't for no reason under trump establish this. this is starting to be looked at by academics and duke university and ucla that suggest preventing evictions reduces transmission of the coronavirus. and has advised people those that experience homelessness are at greater risk to transmit the virus.
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can you explain the increase might contribute to increasing transmission of the coronavirus? >> thank you for the opportunity. research has proven increased evictions lead to an increase spread and death from covid-19 a peer-reviewed published paper by epidemiologist and others that shows if affected those moratoriums resulted in 400,000 additional cases and over 10000 preventable deaths because one very low or extremely low income lose their homes they have very few options available so most often they double or triple locked into overcrowded housing or they end up in encampments or congregate shelters both make it
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difficult if not possible impossible to lead to the spread of covid-19 and among a population that has a whole host of underlying health conditions that make them especially vulnerable with the contract covid-19. >> this may not be the case but it is more complex. >> we first have to ask if the cdc actually has the power to suspend evictions and they don't have that power then does congress have the power to give them the power? so this is a state matter criminalizing access to state courts as property owners. >> that will more people die
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for whatever reason that is not preserved it seems like the answer is yes i understand you have tracked eviction filings over the course of the pandemic which appears to be a significant undertaking they also track evictions but also only collect data from certain states and cities so what are the barriers to collect better data to understand questions like this. >> thank you representative foster. it is wildly different from county to county and state to state some by the locality and availability of data.
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and the access of data on what actually happens with eviction filings. we have seen wildly different availability of data. and we noticed 75000 eviction actions by corporate landlords. but that's a small subset of jurisdictions and clearly there are many more that are not able to track and we have not seen. it scratches the surface the 71000 are the tip of the iceberg. it makes us extremely concerned as we get closer to the expiration of the cdc moratorium of what we will see. looking at these companies and we can see landlords in many
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cases have filed hundreds or thousands of eviction cases but clearly there are more we have not seen in many frankly as we get to the end of the moratorium we see significant harm to large numbers of renters. >> my time is expired. i yield back. >> thank you mr. chair i would ask for unanimous consent to letter to support document. >> without objection. >> this is been very interesting testimony we have
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heard today with too much money chasing too few goods leading to inflation even the fed secretary the knowledge that inflation was in excess of what we have seen in several decades. although the administration is hoping it is transitory. when inflation is the insidious tax and regressive tax disproportionately affecting people of color low income individuals and seniors on a fixed income. do you think that would have any bearing on the ability of someone to rent or pay their rent? >> i am not an economist. >> thank you very much. >> but what i would say is clearly the landlord substantially increasing somebody's rent and is
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highlighted has a significant impact we have seen companies sell homes is publicly traded they reported in the sec filings. >> my question was whether or not inflation would have a bearing on paying rental income. i have mom-and-pop individuals, ordinary people those who have rented houses in my neighborhood which in southeast iowa is the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest wages in the state who have had challenges and problems. because we are small communities they know they are getting stimulus checks. the renter is getting unemployment but not paying rent. you are not an economist but
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in march i introduced hr 1887 the react act requires all migrants to be tested and released into the us that was voted down giving and increased rates of delta and lambda variance now they should focus on testing from more than one.1 million migrants we don't require this have come across the border and placed in facilities which are convention centers if covid-19 testing is required at the border and if multitenant housing should require before putting other occupants of risk. i think we should still be testing at the border.
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mr. bakery stated yesterday 5000 evictions during the moratorium we know the cdc eviction moratorium does not bar all residential evictions and only applies to monetary default but there are 43 million units do you agree with that figure? >> yes. >> eviction notices filed or zero.17 percent of all rental housing units? >> that is incorrect. as a mention in my statement we are tracking evictions across a subset and as i mentioned that the data is extremely fragmented so there is different data across different cities and states
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that it is absolutely incorrect to do simple division is not the right way to interpret the figure. >> word you say that data on how many eviction notices? >> as i said we need better data. >> essentially what i am hearing we have our a time in a committee well very important only affects a very small percentage of people and policies put in place and essentially we don't have someone to tell us that meanwhile in a committee we still don't know the origins that those investigation would be brought up in another committee with national security and how the media
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treats information where it comes from to know the origins of covid-19 which we still don't have in the cdc so those who are double vaccinated wear a mask and those policies to be put in place to assist people. thank you i yield back my time spent the chair recognizes representative for five minutes. >> i want to ask a question. can you tell me how many children have done in homes that have basically benefited from this eviction moratorium quick. >> and i have the specific number of children but the moratorium otherwise would've lost their homes there was
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research from the eviction lab that shows there were one.5 million fewer evictions than otherwise would have occurred. >> that was what donald trump put in place? >> he implemented the moratorium president biden extended at several times in congress extended the federal election moratorium giving clear congressional authority. >> mr. griffith i went to turn your attention to an article that you wrote the myth of the idle rich and in june 2015 you said the following, yes, the average poor family doesn't work nearly as much as the
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rich families do. that is a key reason why these households are poor. but he wrote that with the minutes - - the myth of the idle rich. >> is at your experience the reason my households on average are poor because they don't work as hard as rich families? >> certainly not looking at extreme low income renters we find the vast majority are seniors and people disabilities or they are working and often have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and still have difficulty paying their rent. because the housing wage that somebody needs to earn per hour to rent a modest one-bedroom apartment is $20.40 per hour nationally a much higher and communities. this is almost three times the
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amount a low-wage worker the minimum wage earns and also two dollars our in what renters earn but housing is out of reach. >> so those that say is just not working hard enough, how are they affected by the pandemic and recession? >> many low-wage workers throughout the pandemic were not able to stay at home is higher wage workers could work virtually were keeping stores open they were selling and sharing ppe with other services and goods that people needed during the pandemic
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many contracted likely died from it so people continued to work during the pandemic and many low income renters were among the low-wage workers who were first to lose their jobs or wages. and as a result fell behind on rent. >> one question that is out there with the eviction moratorium is that somehow will read another statement from mr. griffin wrote why it is unnecessary and economically harmful and in their he says the plunge of evictions coincided with a slight rise suggest that the current moratorium has allowed
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many who have remains spared financial stress to live rent free. you did write that july 2020? >> thank you for your earlier question. >> but let me ask this question with regard to your quotation so let's just clarify that people are not allowed to live rent free during the moratorium. >> that is actually incorrect. >> if they are under the eviction moratorium that declaratory statement that design makes clear they need to still do all that they can to pay the rent and many renters have. >> i yield back. thank you.
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>> i think that is all the members that are here i give the closing statement to mr. jordan. >> i think the chairman for yielding. doctor fauci initially said you don't need to wear masks and then said he need to and then he said to masks and then he said one mask and that no mask and now wearing masks again so when it comes to the question of the origin of the virus. he has had just as many physicians and initially said united states taxpayer money did not fund the wuhan institute of virology and then said we did that through a subgrant but then said no no no we had no data function research and then said we find it there was gain of function
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research but it was a sound scientific decision and then he said it would be negligent not defined the lab in china talk about all over the board is ever-changing statements to the american people regarding the subject matter that this committee should be working into. look at this e-mail we have through foia request this goes clear back to january 31st, 2020 the e-mail that doctor fauci received from doctor christian anderson he was one of the individuals who gets the tax dollars. he sent this to doctor fauci and said this in usual features make up a small part of the genome so looking closely to see some of the
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features like engineered. some of the features of the virus like engineered and i submit to other discussions other virologist from grants from doctor fauci we all find that inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory. that's a fancy wages is not consistent with evolutionary theory less than 24 hours after this e-mail the very next day he organizes a conference call with 11 for rolla just the only person from the government on the call with a talk about getting your story straight what they tell the american people even though the tops i on —- scientist says this is not consistent with evolutionary theory. we don't know what happened on that phone call because every single e-mail, every single one has been redacted.
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hope the majority will join us to call this to be an redacted. three days later doctor anderson changed his story to say it you are crazy if you think it came from the lab and those that testified in front of this committee a couple of times this is what he said. i believe it is too much of a coincidence the worldwide pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus that cannot be found in nature started from a secret laboratory will that is pretty common sense i think he was on notice back on january 31st, 2021 but we all see as common sense he
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continues to say is not true. this thursday we just found out asking doctor fauci to come back in front of the committee for third time. but guess what? it will not be public it will be private. private briefing after all of these concerns have been raised anyone with common sense now knows the most likely origin was a lab in wuhan china but not in public, a private briefing. why? he has testified 18 times in front of congress. he has been on every news show you can imagine more than once you can go a day without seeing him on tv but now the select committee won't bring him in for a public hearing to address these issues. no. it will be private the
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"washington post" and the wall street journal things we should get to the bottom of it pretty much everybody does except the democrats on the select committee so i at least the majority will join the minority to give the unredacted e-mails on february t where these guys got their stories straight to mislead the american public over the origins of the virus and i yield back. >> i would like to say in view of the comments with the briefing has to do with the members of this committee to be better informed with the delta variant but it is not.
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>> why not make it public the american people want to be informed as well. >> we can make a decision after we hear it but as of this moment it will be a private briefing. with that, thank you to the witnesses for their testimony today. the coronavirus pandemic and the insecurity it has caused to have safe and secure housing is essential to building prosperous communities and essential to a strong sustainable and inclusive recovery. today's hearing made it clear while the nation is still at risk of the eviction crisis we know what we must do to prevent it is corporate
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landlords must stop rather than affect struggling renters from their homes, landlords must work with the tenants you are experiencing hardships. i am amused when i hear people talk about how much it cost to get something done. and very seldom if ever do they hear them talk about what would be the cost if we don't do it. homelessness will result from these it even actions what is the cost of homelessness? both to the families involved and from recent studies that if people are evicted were kicked out of their homes and —- in shelters on the street
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they are much more susceptible coming from covid-19 then if they were staying in their homes. it seems to me we all have responsibility to get beyond the pandemic that people who are in need of homes, as well as those who enormously benefit financially from these homes. they are not giving up anything. we just appropriated $46 billion a goes to them not to the people in the homes but to the landlords who own it four or $6 billion so the state and local authorities
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continue to improve the rental assistance program they must have best practices when the landlords refused to cooperate with assistance programs to adopt other strategies from successful programs and with that outreach that is necessary to identify where the real needs are. is my great friend and former colleague elijah cummings would say this country is better than that. thanks to the efforts of the biden administration access to rental assistance is expanding widely, 290,000 and as opposed to 160,000 in april.
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in one month and nearly doubled so we're making progress on this. the federal government must continue to do all they can to ensure that all americans have access to these vital programs and i would hope this committee would continue to do the work that is necessary with a threat to make sure this is done efficiently and equitably. on the numbers have five legislative days to be afforded to the witnesses for their response and with that
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we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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>> there are a lot of freshman year i got to know during orientation that this was the first real experience as a member of congress and talking to my fellow colleagues about what we could do to stop this. >> what were those conversations? she was a freshman and was very upset about what was going on we chatted and i said how about you go back to look at social media if you can tell them to stop and she did that.
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>> the committee of homeland security will come to order it is meeting today to receive testimony on securing the homeland reforming dhs to meet


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