Ensure Access to Safe and Affordable Senior Housing in this Year’s Budget
For many years, operators of senior housing have been able to access federal dollars for resident assistants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Research has shown that resident assistance programs in senior housing, such as the HUD Section 202 Service Coordinator Program, promote emotional well-being and stronger social supports, higher resident awareness of services, and better linkages between residents and needed services. Unfortunately, the HUD funding never met the demand for resident assistance programs across New York State and has been reduced significantly in recent years. Without State investment, this successful model may become extinct. LeadingAge New York is asking lawmakers to support A.3612 (Cymbrowitz)/S.3129 (Kavanagh), legislation that would establish a dedicated Affordable Independent Senior Housing Assistance Program, and include the program in the SFY 2021-22 Budget.
This model would result in savings to the State's Medicaid program by keeping low-income seniors out of more costly levels of care, such as assisted living or nursing homes. Resident assistants have also played a crucial role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – they have maintained connections with affordable senior housing residents who would otherwise be facing severe isolation, have established COVID-save recreation and activities programming, and have played a vital role in connecting residents to the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, more than ever, resident assistants are essential to ensuring that New York’s low-income seniors are receiving the services that will keep them at home and allow them to age in place.
In addition to establishing the Affordable Independent Senior Housing Assistance Program, it is crucial that New York continue to expand its historic investment in affordable senior housing. The continued, uninterrupted development of affordable senior housing can only be guaranteed if a statewide affordable housing plan is developed and funded every five years.
Please enter your information below to send a message to lawmakers, urging them to ensure access to safe and affordable senior housing in this year’s budget!