Contact: Lisa Sanders
Washington D.C. March 23, 2018 -- LeadingAge, the association for nonprofit providers of aging services, celebrates Congress’ support for the expansion and preservation of affordable housing for low-income older adults. The inclusion of funding for new, affordable senior housing coupled with the inclusion of a new housing preservation tool, known as RAD for PRAC, in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill, are significant advocacy wins for LeadingAge and its members.
“This victory caps years of focused, persistent, and heartfelt advocacy,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “It would not have been possible without the support and effort by many of our members.”
As part of the omnibus, expected to be signed into law this week, Congress would expand HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to include Section 202 Housing for the Elderly homes in need of capital investment. The new authority provides over 2,800 Section 202 nonprofit-sponsored communities nationwide, all serving Americans age 62 and older, with the ability to seek out private financing to meet capital repair needs in order to preserve this affordable housing well into the future. In addition, the spending bill includes some of the highest funding levels provided to most housing programs in recent years, including $105 million for more than 760 new affordable homes for low-income older Americans.
“Given the extreme shortage of housing affordable to low-income seniors, the inclusion of new construction funding and the new preservation tool in the omnibus are important steps forward for LeadingAge’s members,” said Linda Couch, vice president of housing policy. “The average income of seniors assisted by the Section 202 program is $13,300; we must preserve and expand this critical housing.”
LeadingAge members around the U.S. share Ms. Couch’s enthusiasm for lawmakers’ support. “This much-needed statutory change will allow us to upgrade and renovate the homes of thousands of our seniors nationwide,” said Patrick Sheridan, executive vice president, housing, Volunteers of America.
For New York City-based Selfhelp Community Services, “This policy will enable us to finance critical upgrades, including new roofs, new heating and cooling systems, and façade work. Combined with our social service model, this will enable older adults to age with the independence and dignity they deserve, in housing that best meets their needs,” said Evelyn Wolff, vice president, Real Estate Development.
“We have a forecasted capital needs gap of approximately $45 million over the next decade. This will help us to address our communities’ needs, and to safely and affordably house some of our country’s most vulnerable elders for many years to come,” said Michelle Norris, executive vice president of external affairs and strategic initiatives, National Church Residences.
LeadingAge is grateful to the Senate’s inclusion of RAD for PRAC authority in its FY18 HUD bill, and for Representative Mike Quigley’s (D-IL) championing of this new authority during the House’s consideration of its FY18 HUD spending bill.
The mission of LeadingAge is to be the trusted voice for aging. Our 6,000+ members and partners include nonprofit organizations representing the entire field of aging services, 38 state associations, hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, foundations and research centers. LeadingAge is also a part of the Global Ageing Network, whose membership spans 30 countries. LeadingAge is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization focused on education, advocacy and applied research.
Inclusion of More Funding and New Tools to Provide Access to Additional Financing Resources in Omnibus Legislation Achieves Longstanding Advocacy Goal for Association’s Nonprofit Affordable Housing Members