tv Hearing on Evictions During COVID-19 CSPAN July 30, 2021 12:30am-2:36am EDT
>> welcome everybody. today the subcommittee is holding a hybrid hearing where some members will appear in person and others may appear remotely via zoom. since some members are appearing in person let me first remind everyone pursuant to the guidance and the positions all individuals not fully vaccinated for covid-19 are required to wear masks.
for hybrid hearings if you are in person you can see members appear remotely on the two monitors in front of you. on the one monitor you will see all the members appear remotely at once that is known as gallery view in zoom. on the other monitor you will see each person speaking during the hearing when they are speaking including members who are appearing remotely. you can eat see person whether they are inre person or remote as long as you have your zoom set to acted speaker view. if you have a questions about this please contact committee staff immediately let me also remind everyone at the house
to apply to hybrid hearings a timer is visible in the room directly in front ofir you. for those who may be remotely there is a timer that should be visible on your screen and those that appear remotely house rules require that we see you so please have your cameras turn on at all times. not just when you are speaking. members who are not speaking should be muted to minimize background noise and feedback
i will recognize the members verbally and then return the right to seek recognition verbally. and regular order members will be recognized in seniority order for questions regarding the want to be recognized outside of regular order, you may identify that in several ways. you may use the chat function to send a request. you may send an e-mail to majority staff. or you may unmute your mike to seek recognition. obviously we do not want people talking over each other so my preferences members use the chat function or e-mail to facilitate formal verbal
recognition committee staff will ensure that im made aware of the request and i will recognize you. now at the request of the house recording studio i will countdown from ten and a live stream will begin when i get down d at one. good morning the house committee will come to order without objection the chair is authorized to declare recess of the committee at any time. i now recognize myself for an opening f statement. we are here today to discuss
the issue of the utmost importance. insuring that the coronavirus pandemic, which has already resulted 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 insuring the loss of a job does not also mean the loss of a roof over the families had. even as the american economy continues to recover millions of american families still live in fear of falling behind on their rent and being forced
from their homes. added to this fear with the aggressive and unjustified eviction practices by some landlords. i am deeply troubled by reports that many large corporate landlords have been aggressively and unfairly attempting to remove thousands of americans from their homes duringng this pandemic. court records show that multiple large corporate landlords some of whom control tens of thousands of rental units moved to evict large numbers of tenants over the course of the pandemic despite the cdc eviction moratorium and the availability of rental assistance funds.
one large landlord for example has fileded to evict over 2000 tenants during the pandemic totaling over one quarter of the companies tenants evictions by corporate landlords have been particularly widespread in minority communities. and in view of this information the select subcommittee has an investigation into some of the large corporate landlords alleged to be engaged in these practices. this investigation will seek to find out whether these landlords have corporate rental assistance programs and attempting to force families out of theirhe homes unfairly
and needlessly. let me be clear the aggressive actions of the large corporate landlords are unacceptable. and must stop immediately. these evictions are especially unacceptable because they are unnecessary. congress has taken action to ensure that renters experiencing hardship can have financial help to stay in their homes. of course the ultimate recipient of these funds are the landlords to whom rent is paid. to date, congress has appropriated over $46 billion from the emergency rental assistance including 21.$5 billion from the american rescue act so families affected by the
pandemic can pay their rent and stay in their homes. these funds are distributed through state and local governments who know their communities and their challenges best. the administration has acted aggressivelyac to protect rentals for eviction take a whole governmental approach the administration has worked to speed up the distribution of rental assistance funds by states and localities to warn large landlords of their duty to inform tenants of their rights under the cdc moratorium and third to divert eviction cases to rental assistance programs to keep
people in their homes. the biden/harris administration has 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 to distribute rental relief funds. in texas, the city of houston and harris county have distributed over $137 million in rental relief funds to over 36000 families virginia has developed on —- distributed $220 million of assistance funds with another 33000 households. and in kentucky the rental
assistance program has dispersed over $22 million to aid 4300 households. all states and localities should follow these successful examples to adopt best practices to distribute aid and landlords must work with rental assistance programs to avoid needless evictions. this edition of assistance nationwide is rapidly increasing. rental assistance funds with 85000 households january through 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 month combined. i am confident that this progress is continuing. when the house returns to session following the august district work period we will invite treasury secretary ellen to testify on the implementation of this and all essential relief programs established by congress through the american rescue plan and previous coronavirus response that is administered by her department. i look forward to the hearing and i am hopeful the secretary schedule will allow her to appear before us in a no from
the recent public statements that the ranking member does as well. it is equally important that the select subcommittee hear from today's witnesses who bring a wealth of knowledge and important perspectives on this issue. i look forwardrd to hearing from each of them about the challenges we face as americans continue to getue vaccinated and our economy continues to improve we must work together to prevent the pandemic far from precipitating an eviction crisis congress is already taken action to ensure american families are not
evicted from their homes we must ensure the lot is followed and rental assistance funds that congress provided are accessible to all who need them. i now yield to the ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman i appreciate you holding this hearing. the biggest economic challenge we face right now continues to be president bidens inflation crisis the cost of housing the cost of gasoline, groceries, cars , basic necessities of life have skyrocketed rather than address the problem in proposing solutions the biden administration answerr is, don't worry, just keep printing were many and help inflation will magically disappear. these huge price spikes will
magically disappear especially when liberals and socialists continue the reckless tax and spend policy. the american people know the massive increase in government spending we have seen in the last few months is responsible for the rising cost of prices we have bought and paid for everyday household items. by the way this is a tax on hard-working families and what is president bidens answer? pushing for an additional $4 trillion of new taxes and spending. exactly the opposite of what america needs right now. what america needs at this critical moment is on the path to fully reopening. we cannot slide backwards. schools must reopen for in person learning. the costos our children have already paid is too high businesses need to continue to bring back employees and the federal government needs to stop paying people more to stay home and to go back to work.
the federal government needs to stop undermining the relationship between landlord and tenant that the market function properly. what has allowed us to get some normalcy is not government spending certainly not government oppose lockdown. that is the opposite of normalcy what has gotten us back on the path to opening is getting control of this invisible enemy america did that by creating and producing distributing safe and effective vaccines. is every member of the subcommittee knows we have been advocating and encouraging vaccines for over a year and also highlighted success of operation warp speed to bring multiple vaccines to families in record time. 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 who are promoting vaccine hesitancy. they are to come back out and admit they should notth have done and that they were wrong to promote that and in fact president biden took office creating a goal of 100 million shots per day we were already on track to administer many said to be more ambitious and increase 200 million per day but ultimately president biden embrace that goal. working together on the vaccine hesitancy hearing if you want to get vaccinated with a safe and effective and free and available that i have been clear if the goal is to get people vaccinated, shaming people and mandating those vaccinations will work censoring the truth will not
work either it only breeds more distrust it's all work together to get the facts out to people particularly populations that continue to display hesitancy is present the evidence to reassure individuals that the decision is there's someone has a concern a question now is the time to have that conversation with their doctor. i believe that strategy will ofy maximize the number americans who choose to take the vaccine because this is a medical decision not a political decision according to the mayo clinic 87 percent of americans over the age of 75 have already received at least one dose of vaccine. more than 90 percent of individuals age 65 through 74 have received one dose since vaccinations began emergency roomus visits have declined 77 percent among older adults of course at the outbreak of
the pandemic that was the population experience a largest percentage of death. just nursing homes aloneer were responsible for 40 percent. >> seeing a breakthrough of infections those illnesses tended to be milder with the and vaccinated people know vaccine is 100 percent effective that a very small percentage of vaccinated individuals we know will get sick we have seen that anecdotal evidence but that's not evidence it doesn't work. the delta variant is spreading at anrn alarming rate i'm concerned about the newde lambda variant coming from south and central america. the biden administration must address the self-created border crisis. doctor fauci told the
subcommittee that the biden administration was violating their own cdc guidance by failing to test for covid and allowing too many people to be crammed in the cages at the tent line that facilities beyond the border only then to be shipped around the country and increase the spreadut of the virus many of us talked about this have seen the crisis at the border border patrol agents will tell you many coming across that are not being tested for covid but as they go in the's detention facilities t an american citizen today they are not allowed to get on an airplane and five back into america so somebody to come across illegal to be welcomed into the country and given a ticket to go on a plane or a bus sent throughout america where the
administration will not even tell us where they are going. communities cannot in to prepare for the operate. so to stop the lambda variant it is spreading widely in countriesow like peru and now with the open border crisis we see many illegal starting to spread the lame the variant into america we saw a few more cases pop up in texas along the border where people are showing up with the lambda variant worrying about the delta variant which is dangerous we should also be worried about the lambda variant coming in. as doctor fauci testified in the past the president said we will stop flights coming in from china it saved american lives also doctor patty said trump's decision to stop flights from europe as they were getting an outbreak saved american lives to. i call and president biden to
look at the numbers of the lambda variant coming in from south america and he should get control of the southern border to stop the spread of the lambda variant into america. we should scale black the emergency federal programs the addiction moratorium i realize that is the subject of today's hearing that this eviction moratorium is an example septem 2020 is it easy to get unprecedented step to have a moratorium of evictions for nonpayment of rent under the guise of limiting the spread of covid-19 to protect low income families who were struggling. but of course congress appropriated $25 billion for emergency rental assistance to eliminate that debt also an additional $21 billion in a second emergency r rental
program with the american rescue plan for $46 billion of emergency rental assistance funds to be distributed by the biden administration on —- administration. at the end of june the biden administration distributed less than 10 percent of this money to renters who are in need of assistance may have mismanaged this program and unfortunately the request to bring in secretary ellen today was denied i'm glad she will finally be comingut weeks later but we need those answers why is being mismanaged eviction moratorium is mosted heavily felt by mom-and-pop landlords depending on rental income for their livelihood. and the government pays people not to work and to work forcing many mom-and-pop renters to sellpe mental property and move into their
own rental property as they sell other properties to pay their bills the moratorium is an example whyf we need to stay focused on reopening america. setting aside a series of federal judges have found the moratorium to be unconstitutional the fact is the administration's response t to renters in need has not worked and hurt as many people as it has helped federal government has failed to manage that landlord-tenant relationship. let's focus getting the facts out to peoplena it is safe to reopen. we've done very well with vulnerable populations covid death has decreasedd romantically now is a good time for all those have been hesitant to take a renewed luck thank you mr. chairman. >> i am pleased to welcome today's witnesses first we
will introduce our guest to is appearing remotely after losingr her job 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. highlight of those abusive tactics and then to make clear that impact of aggressive evictions have on working families. also welcome mr. jim baker of private equity stakeholder project he was in significant
research to monitor even action trends by the corporate landlords over the course of the pandemic. next we have the national low income housing coalition whose organization has studied the impact of the pandemic and struggling americans. i wouldns also like to welcome appearing virtually to discuss best practices with local rental assistance he has helped to administer the city of houston and harris county with successful rental assistance programs and finally i want to welcome mr. joel griffith a 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 how we can continue to prevent a pandemic eviction crisis. will the witnesses please rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing that the truth, so help you god? be seated. let the recordd show the witnesses answered in the affirmative and without
objection the written statement will be made part of the record we will hear first from mr. baker. you are recognized for five minutes for your opening statement. >> chairman khyber and ranking member and members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to speak today i'm with a private equity stakeholder project day nonprofit tracking private equity firms in similar wall street firms including insincerely in the pandemic we have tracked eviction filings across dozens of counties in several states representing 10 percent of the us population focusing on corporate landlords with 1000 units and then was 75000
residences the trump administration for moratoriums in place and we know this just scratches the surface. for example corporate landlords in the client in counties in george's in september. and those to have the claim counties of seven times the rage they have m the majority of white counties in florida. corporate limits have consistently accounted for the majority of all filings and it may corporate landlords accounted 74 percent of eviction filings inin georgia. 33 percent of filings and harris county texas since last
september some of the world's largest asset managers managing trillions of dollars to evict residents including morgan stanley, three-star real estate partners, the carlyle group prudential, and cbr e. while many renters faced hardships during the pandemic they have done extremely well and buying more housing private equity firm which owns rental home companies together filed at least 1700 eviction actions since last september a former goldman sachs banker made a fortune during the 2008 financial crisis getting rich is millions of homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure. purchasing a 25 million-dollar mansion in miami beach.
largest owner of rental homes in the us 880 eviction actions since last september and to challenge the declaration of several residents stock prices increased by more than 44 percent over the last year. canadian owned apartment company filed to affectmp 30 percent of its residents some large landlords continue to file rather than working to access $50 billion of rental assistance that congress made available to pay back rent and stay in their homes filing residence in the first eight days of january days after congress made rental available and then to accept those funds a bus driver in florida who was evicted in march those not
participating in the program due to landlord restrictions some have taken a different path just nine eviction filings from american homes for rent between september 2020 and march 2021 private equity for oaktree capital had filings earlier this year. and a decision that landlords or even large corporate and there's make. and those that may or not remain and then to impact the housing into the future and then to be fine $200,000 in violation the subcommittee should recommend action by the us department of justice to see penalties from landlords
who violated the eviction moratorium to specifically assess if any landlord violated civil rights by disproportionately iming to evict those of color as we enter a critical new phase it's important to remain vigilant to corporate landlord evictions those of us housing. thank you. >> now you are recognized for your five-minute statement. >> and then to make it tighter
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. 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 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 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. 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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 soon thereafter that cdc mayor turner and harris county judge established the housing stability task force led and overseen by texas state representative in retired president and ceo. the task force included regional leaders with a broad-based of experience and expertise. housing advocates and community-based organizations, landlords , legal aid agencies and representatives from the city anden the county. through this collective effort it was decided theor best way forward to effectively serve tenants and landlords we needed to create one program for the entire region with a single point of enrollment
from landlords and tenants. that decision in my opinion was a catalyst that pave the way for the ultimate success of the houston harris county emergency rental assistance program. baker ripley assumed initial responsibility for the city of houston harris county but despite the best efforts it was clear the economic impact had continued in the need for rental assistance was ongoing. we knew any additional resources need to be distributed quickly and a effectively that's a catholic charities with a second administered of the program. so to learn from 2020 next i would like to mention those
that have been critical to the program we have added nine local organizations which serve as navigating agencies with technicale assistance and then to expand the regional capacity to focus on tenant and landlord eligibility. meant to focus on resources on evictions. this program provides pride advocates and also worth mentioning that the landlords and the tenants play a valuable role in assistance funds the program has to work for both parties with a
subjective keeping families in their homes and to accomplish this separate outreach communication ando enrollment plans for thehe landlords in the tenants and it all came together because of the great system development partner and nonprofit system solution we have worked with over the years the disasteren recovery efforts and then to build a user-friendly application process and technology enabled tools to provide streamlined data analysis. i like to point out that data is critical of the funds that are distributed throughout the region. for the region to truly prosper privilege of equitable as access to opportunities. in conclusion we continue to
see impressive results for 2021 we distributed 137 million households and we are not done yet we are processing applications for an additional 53 million of funding. i'm happy to answer any question that you are committee members may have. >> thank you mr. salinas now we hear from mr. griffith you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you members of the committee for the opportunity to testify today from a research fellow at the heritage foundation the views i express are my own. last year for the first time in our t nations history state and local governments intentionally suppressed in criminalized entire swath of activity and in the midst of the turmoil to ban property owners in the end of 2020 in
the cdc we nude and extended the band three times. regardless of the intended beneficiaries allowed many who are not even impacted the near complete eradication coincided with a slight rise of two.2 percentage payments the moratorium clearly allows those who are impacted by covid-19 to experience financial hardship to live rent free and to the extent the two those that word jobless thanks to the covid shutdown to allow those to shirk responsibility to shutter businesses and ruin livelihoods placing the cost squarely on the shoulders of property owners this has produced harmful ripple effects then to increase rents of the heightened risk of future moratorium prospective
renters may find themselves subject and ultimately the quality of life is intact as well as landlords cannot evict people for disorderly conduct, illegal drug use and collectivity. it's also serious constitutional and legal concerns and may violate the takings clause of the fifth and 14th amendment along with the contracts clause that without the doubt the cdc band was unlawful because it exceeded the congressional mandate. the executive order last year and this year was predicated on the public health services act to authorize regulations necessary for the introduction transmission and spread of communicable diseases. examples of congressionally authorized actions for the cdc are listed in the public health services act and come nowhere close to including
eviction moratorium. as legal scholars at the heritage foundation have explained statutory construction is when the broad term it can only refer to those before and nationwide eviction band is nothing like a localized limited congressionally approved actionss of expecting fumigated in or disinfecting buildings. even the language of the cdc order shows the band was meant as economic relief not as a tool to protect from the spread of disease and truly with the spread of communicable disease was a goal it would have hardly focused on only the small fraction of annual relocation stemming from his actions that account for less than one tenth of the number of total relocations and in short with the cdc action itself and the
intent to counter the economic impact with the expressed will of congress and most importantly so such authorization itself would have been unconstitutional congress can only delegate to the executive branch the powers granted to us by the constitution the commerce clause anything that they authorize must be proper into execution banning assets to jurisdiction would be an abuse of federal power not improper use the moratorium with
executive fiat and upon the fundamental constitutional right and eroded private property rights to diminish the contracts with the sovereignty of states bys interfering with jurisdiction of the courts. we must be vigilant to use the covid crisis as an excuse to erode the rule of law and federalism and fundamental constitutional rights. it is neither aggressive nor unfair but what is and unconstitutional to criminalizing access to the courts and enforcing property order one —- owners to relinquish their rights. >> now each member will have five minutes for questions the chair recognizes himself for five minutes. the first question i am
particularly interested in i the outreach part of your testimony. and i suspect from your projection you expect to go in the future will you share some of the hard to reach people that what you are planning to do going forward? what they need to plan for. >> thank you mr. chairman. and those efforts to the
program one of the things is we recognize that the need is great that number two sometimes there is distrust or accessibility issues or other barriers we have added for the emergency rental assistance program nine organizations to have technical assistance to help identify to address gaps in the system and offer other resources to tenants. for us this is very helpful because it extended our regional capacity to stay on the eligibility payments. the approach from the initial steps has been a holistic approach our neighbors we seek to have our neighbors give us the help we need with the
navigating agencies. over 4000 additional tenants have signed up for the rental assistance program who received assistance from the navigating agencies. and barriers and accesses to the resources. they were chosen for their diversity with those diverse communities and the ability to remove such barriers with technology, language, trustte or any other accessibility to the programs. we are very grateful and thankful to these agencies. and another piece of our strategyy around outreach and ensuring that funding and resources are available to
everyone, is part of the work we did early on in 2020 and with a long time partner here will help us that look at the census tract level and to build a formula to take into can sort of consideration each census tract that looks at how many rental units and look at that pace data for payments to landlords. in essence we have a slide that we can share with you is to create a map of our region where the resources are going into those communities. as we identify those gaps and
to talk to landlords and tenants to build the trust with the community and get individual signed up for the program. >> how did you target those areas? did you have information warehousing was needed? >> yes. that equity dashboard rebuilt early on we look at the index that looks at different vulnerability elements such as p poverty, education, housing, tr. we map that out. and then we crossed out where there were rental cro units. where was the funding going
regarding the vaccines arecr they safe and effective? >> from what we know they are incredibly safe and very effective and in large part why much of the country has been able to return to normal. >> clearly operation warp speed efforts to bring these to theom market so quickly are these vaccines 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 show up and get the vaccine. >> you see some employers encouraging employees to get vaccinated as we push to get people back to work how many job openings are there in the country quick. >> we have 9 million job fact we right now ine have never had this many. they are more job openings now
then there are the total number of people unemployed in this country. >> as we have been talking about is a good policy to borrow money from our children to pay people not to work when there may be more job openings we have ever seen quick. >> we are mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future we are seeing theel impacts of that right now across cost-of-living is increasing at a greater clip than our actual income levels and we know for a fact that borrowing money from the future to pay people not to work is resulting in many people choosing not to go back to work we know this anecdotally but compare and contrast those unemployment businesses with those states that haven't and those that cut off those bonuses have recovered. >> seeing the economy pick up not having problems with the rent because they are working
again with those that want to spend and spend as if money grows on trees do you think the multitrillion dollar spending package would do anything to add to the inflation we are already seeing? >> don't just take my word for it one of the top advisers actually warned about this as well in fact every dollar appropriated by congress is a dollar we are borrowing or having the central bank print the money and injected into the economy and there will be negative consequences in terms of the standard of living for the typical family to be lower than it would have been with the cost of living as a result of those pressures. >> i appreciate your testimony and i yelled back. >> the chair now yields for
five minutes. >> i really do appreciate you calling this hearing it's important i must spend a few minutes dealing with the attacks on the administration. talking about what was happening with covid-19 and i am looking at this article that says after months of waiting gop lawmaker gets first covid shot the vaccine works and it was that he received the first pfizer vaccination at a clinic in jefferson parish i don't think he has received his second yet so this business about him now
becoming concerned and having gotten religion about vaccination i appreciate he has come around. >> will you yield? >> no. not right now. i appreciate he haspp come around because while cases of the virus are on the rise vaccinations are a dividingg line in the us with many conservative leaningng americans choosing not to get vaccinated despite the consensus the covid vaccine is extremely safe and effective this comes from and article written about mr. scalise and his hesitancy getting vaccinated. and when asked time and time again, he would say soon. some political scientists have attributed former president
donald trump public downplaying of the virus even as he was second and hospitalized with covid-19 and has since gotten the vaccine himself. i went to insert that information into the record because of the attack for rental assistance. but then to deal with the american relief plan but to increase the rental assistance of $37 billion and this is so very important. i want you to know im pleased that because of president and ceo of the national will income housing coalition we have been able to get all of this many not only organized
with the other o advocacy groups , she was responsible for the kind of assistance to make sure we hadam adequate amounts to deal with rental assistance and working with the biden administration that adopted with those recommendations including spending the eviction moratorium with the updated fact sheet 51 on june 2h to accelerate the broad distribution. the white house encourage the court to adopt anti- eviction diversion practices activated a whole of government effort to raise awareness of your a in treasury issued new guidance to accelerate of funds in treasury revised to actively preventive actions and develop evictions and
increase access experience of homelessness to establish a commitment to direct grantees to remove cultural and linguistic barriers to access and e aid encourages coordination to reduce burdens and delays to streamline payments to providers and landlords. i to worry about these evictions the moratorium will be over at the end of the month. and so for us to pay attention to doen everything that we can to make sure that we simply have evictions that put people out on the street and increase homelessness as i am so appreciative for this hearing today. so with that i was always worried about distribution. it's not easy to do now wait
for the hands of state government now the elected officials to come up with the programs that we were intended to do some have been more successful like in harris county and then to get them all up to speed because this is necessary and then also concerned about small landlords they can take care of themselves but the small landlords who depend on this with the mortgage payments and rental assistance for the retirement income i wish we could challenge the court i know what theyay are saying to us but we need to go ahead and go back to the courts and asked them to please allow the administration to extend the moratoriumhe on evictions so
mr. chairman it just happens i met with secretary ellen this morning she and her staff are working very hard too do everything that they can to assist the governors to get the money out and i yelled back the balance of my time. >> . >> i'm not sure with doctors needed to make sure that to promote the vaccine all along the way. and those that did promote vaccine hesitancy which by thee way if you start with president biden himself 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 d >> you want to talk about vaccine hesitancy? it's that. the president needs to come out and admit he was wrong when he tried to discourage people from taking the vaccine the last year. it is safe and effective and anybody who was trying to give concern about the vaccine or the fda owes an apology because that is just not accurate. anyway i will continue to promote the vaccine and safety and effectiveness i would encourage others. >> thank you however i thank
you are aware those comments were made before the vaccine was approved. >> that made during the process of operation warp speed. >> during the process is one thing. but they were made before the vaccine. >> people listen to that and said why takejo it if the president at the time if he said then nation it be trusted do you really think you want people listening to that quick. >> i just want the record to be clear vaccines were not approved with no statements were made. with that the chair recognizes mr. jordan. >> in the heat of the campaign is all about politics which is what drives this place from the majority perspective.
last week president biden said if you increase spending it will bring inflation down do you agree with that statement? >> i would like to know under what world that would work? we know that right now all the money from federal government that comes from borrowing money and often times thanks to the central bank printing more money to purchase those bonds that are injected into the economy. >> i disagree wholeheartedly. >> anyone who has a brain understands that will not work like they has spent money like crazy. are you surprised we now have inflation that the price of every single good and service
is up t are you surprised by that. >> no. economy is reopening that on top of that we have trillions of dollars more and have been injected into the economy. besides that we see housing prices that are w not even factored into that inflation rate and the housing bubble that has become a burden. >> the democratic economic plan is a four-part plan. step one continue to lockdown the economy, spend like crazy, pay people not to work, you talk about the unemployment situation the economy today. spend like crazy okay people not to work and for those who are working we will major taxes. may be the foremost debate y economic policies you can imagine but that seems to be there plan.
>> that is absolutely there plan the long-term objective is to centralize more power here ine washington dc and fundamentally transform the economy. but the infrastructure you consider now, 95 percent of that will not even go to infrastructure but revolutionize the industry which i mean costing a typical family $8000 more per year by driving up the cost of everything that uses energy that is in the infrastructure plan. >> what we are talking about today this eviction issue, isn't it true that people who make up $99000 per year can be eligible for this program and not pay their rent? >> yes. states have leeway to put in those parameters but yes. >> every employer my district i find people to work $99000
in my district here in the top 3 percent of income earners if you make a most 100 grand per year in champaign county ohio but they can self a test they don't check to say i make $98999.99 and i'm eligible not to pay my rent. >> also whether or not you are impacted by covid. >> not a single employer out there can find people to work with signs everywhere help wanted we will give you a bonus if you come to work. >> without a doubt and anecdotally t i have been all over the south the last few my time talk to business owners but we see that with the data as well this is impacting the
desire of people who want to go to work. >> you should be surprised when you cannot find workers. >> the folks i represent they get it. it is common sense this is the craziest i have never seen a more crazy economic plan than what the democrats keep putting forward lockdown the economy, spend like crazy then they say we will pay people not to work in those have been working the tail off we will raise your taxes. what a deal that's the democratic economic plan for now we have a hearing we need to continue the program and let them self a test and then they can go without paying their rent. holy cow making $98099.99 the only committee could actually asked the s same crests question
the wall street journal wanted to ask is why are we funding this research and wuhan china? what is the origin of the virus? we should do with that"w issue even the wall street journal say that but instead we talked about this? i yield. >> the chair know recognizes ms. velasquez. new york city landlords are fighting evictions three.six times faster. 60 percent are people of color. how are those findings impacting communities of color and vulnerable populations and by the way do you have any data that shows how many of those making $99000 in income
have not paid or filed for eviction? >> thank you congresswoman if i could take a moment to clarify the congressman and the witness are wrong that rent is not do under the federal of action moratorium. what it does is prevent evictions and in doing so the spread of covid-19. >> mr. chairman. this is>> my time. >> mr. jordan, we will not tolerate that. >> the rent is still do. low income renters have done all they occurred during the pandemic to pay it. they have taken out loans and used credit cards and put off buying store-bought food or paying for internet their kids
need for school and make the trade-off and if they can't they have fallen behind which is the emergency rental assistance is so essential to pay arrears that have accrued during the pandemic. yes it has certainly exacerbated pre-existing inequities for people of color. pre- pandemic due to decades of systemic racism people of color are disproportionately likely to be renters , extremely low income or be behind on rent or experience homelessness. covid-19 compounded these inequities of black native american people disproportionately likely to contract and i from covid-19 and those were likely to lose jobs and then fell behind on rent so today 25 percent of all black renters ares behind
compared to 10 percent of whites and of those six.5 million that are behind on rent the majority of them are people of color. >> mr. baker the corporate landlords are moving to evict tenants in majority black areas at a much higher rate than those in the majority white areas can you explain how some corporate landlords moving that tenets in a racially disparate climate? >> that is correct. earlier this year a private equity firm along with area management another private equity firm was buying more homesmo and then purchased up
front yard residential they onre lots of single-family rental homes and notice they were filing to evict hundreds of residents in dekalb and clay in counties that are majority black counties in georgia. itit was striking the large volume, 113 filings in the first eight days of the year.s so frankly we were struck and took a closer look at the filings and compared it to other counties where they own homes was to majority white counties in florida to find they were failing to evict renters and at this point with
much higher rates. >> what share of evictions have been filed by a corporate landlords and if this is a trend nationwide quick. >> as we look at areas we have tracked like maricopa county which is phoenix and harris county which is houston or dekalb canty which is atlanta and the suburbs hillsborough county which is tampa we found the majority of the eviction filings were by the large corporate landlords not mom-and-pop but with a larger corporate landlords driving the evictions. looking at this t a few different times over the last several months it was true in december just after the cdc
eviction moratorium was put in place in the first place. >> the gentle ladies time has expired. >> doctor green. >> thank you to our witnesses for being here today today's hearing comes a few days before the moratorium well allegedly and because they have already extended the band multiple times. let me be clear that moratorium is one of the most blatant power grabs we have seen in the course of the pandemic the cdc assumes it has the authority to do the matter that tenuous connection to public health moratorium is in those two moratoriums with federalism in states rights it never passes a law allowing the cdc to be in evictions but
there is more than just that. congress could not delegate this power to the federal government even if it wanted to. even a generous reading of the commerce clause does not give congress the power to do this that is our constitutional system of government. how can we claim private property rates if thehe federal government can come and tell you that you cannot enforce the terms of the basic contract? one of the most shameless cases bureaucracy gone rogue i have ever seen. i don't see how an eviction moratorium prevents the spread of covid-19 the eviction moratorium is almost identical to what government has done to healthcare. as more renters are subsidized and then to cough shift other people and to other renters
and that drives up the price of overall rent and and to the inflation by the increase dollars of the economy the rapidly increasing rates and inflation you basically get a horrible spiral occurring right now in the economy. and is there in real. and then toe generate the revenue to cover the losses. what do they do? get out of business. and then to absorb the losses. let there be no doubt. this is destroying to put savings into owning a rental property. and that is harming low income americans just like healthcare. just like government intrusion into healthcare.
here is another example of something contributing people are leaving california illinois and new york because of democrat liberal policies just like this. they are buying houses off the market site and seen off the internet driving the price of properties through the roof. why? because of failed liberal policies california new yorkca and illinois. great examples of the stupidity another example of well-meaning politicians who wind up destroying the very thing they want to save. i ran a healthcare company. i'm a physician.
what do they do? intrude on the doctor-patient relationship and now they d are intruding on the renterre / 20 relationship. we see it everywhere. 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 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. >> 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 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. >> 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 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 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. 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 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 "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. >> 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 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 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 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. 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 we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations]