LeadingAge Praises House Funding Markup for Affordable Housing for Low Income Older Adults

PRESS RELEASE | September 09, 2021 | by Lisa Sanders

“This would mean real relief for older Americans who are homeless, stuck on waiting lists for years, or choosing between rent, food and medicine each month.”

Contact: Lisa Sanders, lsanders@leadingage.org

September 9, 2021 Washington, DC—As Congress works to finalize its budget reconciliation discussions, a national aging services leader praised the funding levels provided for affordable housing that were made public today in the House’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure reconciliation package.

The proposals include $322 billion for affordable housing programs, including $2.5 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, the agency’s flagship program providing shelter to older adults living on low incomes. 

“The proposed investment in affordable housing, including $2.5 billion for Section 202 housing, will mean real relief for older Americans who are homeless, stuck on waiting lists for years, or choosing between rent, food and medicine each month,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including affordable housing for low-income older adults.

“Our members have been waiting nearly half a century for this type of market-changing funding, which is in line with LeadingAge’s requests. Should these monies come through, the market will be forever changed—for the better—because of this legislation,” added Sloan. 

A $2.5 billion injection of new 202 dollars could improve the lives of thousands of older adults by adding 37,500 new Section 202 homes to the current supply, as well as new service coordinators, the linchpin between residents and access to home and community-based services, in these federally assisted communities as well as help for states to ensure residents have access to the services they need to age in community. 

“This is the most important moment in a generation for aging services,” Sloan added. “If we are going to succeed in building up this critical part of our care economy, we need innovation, creativity, and even wholesale change. Everyone has a part to play.” 

For multifamily housing including the Section 202 program, the bill includes $11 million for greening, retrofitting, and preservation. Finally, also in the housing bill are major investments for a variety of HUD and USDA programs, including new Project-Based Rental Assistance Contracts, the National Housing Trust Fund, public housing, the HOME program and vouchers. 

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.