Senate Holds Hearings on the Housing Crisis

This article was written by Richa Goel, NAHRO’s Legislative Affairs Intern.

Affordable housing is becoming increasingly scarce in the United States. Last week, the Senate held three hearings discussing drivers and solutions to homelessness and the affordable housing crisis. On July 19th, the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee held a hearing addressing homelessness. The Finance Committee held a hearing on July 20th discussing the importance of tax incentives in affordable housing. On July 21st, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing about rising costs in both the homebuying and rental markets.

Expert witnesses testified in front of the committees, including:

Opportunities and Challenges in Addressing Homelessness (July 19th)

  • Ann Oliva, Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Kathryn Monet, Chief Executive Officer, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
  • Cathy ten Broeke, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director, Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness (MICH)
  • Isabel McDevitt, Co-Founder and Board President, Work Works America
  • Jamie Kirsch, Board Member, Journey On

The Role of Tax Incentives in Affordable Housing (July 20th)

  • Andrea Bell, Executive Director, Oregon Housing & Community Services
  • Jerry Konter, Founder and President, Konter Quality Homes and Chairman of the Board, National Association of Homebuilders
  • Dr. Lee E. Ohanian, Hoover Institute Senior Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Benson Roberts, President and CEO, National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
  • Dana Wade, Chief Production Officer, Walker & Dunlop

Priced Out: The State of Housing In America (July 21st)

  • Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research, National Association of Realtors
  • Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum
  • Ms. Peggy Bailey, Vice President for Housing Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Democrats and Republicans expressed disagreement about the causes of the affordable housing crisis but demonstrated bipartisan support for certain solutions. Republicans blamed inflation for exacerbating the housing affordability crisis. Both Democrats and Republicans emphasized the supply shortage in the housing market and praised the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) as an effective program. Additionally, both Democrats and Republicans advocated for passing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and the Neighborhood Homes Improvement Act to increase the supply of affordable housing.

The hearings also covered housing choice vouchers, a middle-income housing tax credit, and zoning issues. The recorded hearings and witness statements are available on the Senate Banking website and the Senate Finance website.

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