Contact: Lisa Sanders
June 9, 2020 Washington DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-assisted housing for older adults on living on low incomes:
“HUD-assisted communities for older adults living on low incomes serve a population at high-risk for falling ill and dying during this pandemic. For months, starting in early March, LeadingAge has been advocating for Congressional action to avert a COVID-related disaster from reaching the more than one million older adults who reside in these homes nationwide.
Congress took a first step on March 27 with the CARES Act. But HUD has not gotten these emergency funds to providers yet. Simply put, the money from Congress for HUD’s flagship Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program is stuck at HUD.
These communities operate on lean budgets and generally do not set aside money for infectious disease control. As HUD dithers, providers are spending thousands a month on COVID-19 costs, using funds that are earmarked for fixing the roof and the air conditioning, just so that they can support residents and staff with extra cleaning and disinfecting, personal protective equipment (PPE) and services like security and meals, and extra staffing support.
As Secretary Carson testifies today on Oversight of Housing Regulators before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, we call on his agency to release CARES Act’s $50 million for the Section 202 Housing for the
Elderly program as well as the remaining $200 million of Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance funds. The CARES Act became law on March 27, 2020. The time is long overdue for HUD-assisted senior housing providers to receive the funding they need to pay for cleaning, disinfecting, personal protective equipment services, security and other COVID-19 related costs.”
We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org.