Senator Leads Effort for $600M for New Section 202 Homes in FY22

Legislation | June 11, 2021 | by Linda Couch

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has begun circulating a “dear colleague” letter among all Senate offices, asking senators to join his letter to the Senate HUD appropriations subcommittee in support of $600 million for new Section 202 homes in the fiscal year 2022 HUD appropriations bill, and for full renewal funding for Section 202 rental assistance contracts.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has begun circulating a “dear colleague” letter among all Senate offices, asking senators to join his letter to the Senate HUD appropriations subcommittee in support of $600 million for new Section 202 homes in the fiscal year 2022 HUD appropriations bill, and for full renewal funding for Section 202 rental assistance contracts.

Senator Menendez has been a long-time champion of the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program and has led a letter in support of robust funding for new Section 202 homes for several years. LeadingAge is thrilled that this letter urges appropriators to provide $600 million for new Section 202 homes. In FY21, Congress provided $52 million for new Section 202 homes. HUD has requested $100 million for new Section 202 homes in FY22. LeadingAge's policy goals include a $600 million ask for new Section 202 homes in the FY22 HUD appropriations bill.

Housing advocates are urged to ask their U.S. Senate offices to join Senator Menendez’s letter by June 22, the deadline to sign on. Senate offices can contact Alfie Feder in Senator Menendez’s office to sign on, Alfie_Feder@menendez.senate.gov).

“Section 202 provides a sensible and necessary approach to meeting our nation’s growing affordable housing needs for seniors.  As HUD’s most recent Worst Case Housing Needs Report finds, 1.93 million very low-income elderly households are paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent.  Moreover, a 2021 report from the Urban Institute, The Future of Headship and Homeownership, predicts there will be 13.8 million new older adult households between 2020 and 2040, and 40% (5.5 million) of these new older adult households will be renter households,” the letter says. “We believe that continued investment in low-income affordable housing for the elderly is both cost-effective and critical to ensuring seniors can live in supportive, decent, and affordable housing.”

Efforts to secure $600 million for new Section 202 homes in FY22 are separate and apart from efforts to secure $2.5 billion for new Section 202 homes in an infrastructure package. LeadingAge strongly supports these parallel efforts to expand the supply of affordable senior housing. Expanding the supply of affordable senior housing is LeadingAge’s top housing policy goal.