powered by LeadingAge New York

Campaign for Healthy Aging Through Housing

A working group of LeadingAge members, including some of the largest nonprofit housing organizations in the country, have released a statement of principles that calls for significantly expanding state and federal resources to address the housing and service needs of low income seniors.

The Campaign for Healthy Aging Through Housing calls on policymakers to (1) preserve existing senior housing; (2) increase the supply of affordable and service-enriched senior housing; (3) permanently fund services in senior housing; and (4) expand rental subsidies to meet the growing needs of America's elderly population. The document makes recommendations for action at the federal level in each of these areas. It will be shared with the transition team after the presidential election.

"This national campaign is similar to what we've done here in New York State, which is to call attention to the needs of low income seniors," said Stuart Kaplan, CEO of Selfhelp Community Services, who represented New York State on the working group. "We need capital to build and rehabilitate buildings. We need rental assistance because so many seniors can't afford apartments on the open market. And we need a permanent source of funding for services so people can live independently. These needs exist at the federal level and the state level. And our partners in other states agree."

One notable recommendation is the call for a new funding mechanism called SEAL – Service-Enriched Affordable Living – to be administered by HUD. SEAL would provide a share of capital funding as well as project-based rental assistance and funding for services.

The statement calls for set-asides in each state’s allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. It emphasizes the importance of preserving existing senior units, and strongly supports the inclusion of post-1991 202/PRAC properties in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

Contact: John Broderick, jbroderick@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8835