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CUOMO SAYS SENIOR CITIZENS GAIN NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVED HOUSING UNDER CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION INITIATIVE
SANTA MONICA, CA – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today said older Americans would gain new opportunities for improved housing under a Clinton-Gore Administration initiative, as he visited the future site of a HUD-funded subsidized apartment building for senior citizens with very low incomes.
Cuomo was accompanied by Congressman Henry Waxman and Santa Monica Mayor Pamela O’Connor on the visit to the site of Upward Bound Senior Villa, a three-story apartment building that will contain 69 one-bedroom apartments.
The project will be built with $12.1 million from HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program – $7 million to help fund construction and $5.1 million to subsidize rents for 20 years. The HUD funding will leverage an additional $6 million in investment in the project by Santa Monica Bank ($3.5 million), the City of Santa Monica ($1.9 million), the Federal Home Loan Bank of California ($560,000), and Upward Bound House ($100,000).
The Secretary said the full range of housing needs of more senior citizens around the country would be met if Congress approves an initiative in President Clinton’s proposed federal budget for the 2000 fiscal year that offers a series of housing options for the elderly. By combining new and existing HUD programs, and improving coordination with other federal aid, the new initiative would create a comprehensive senior housing system – a Continuum of Care, Cuomo said.
“In Santa Monica and across our nation, the generation that won World War II and built modern America now faces a new challenge – finding adequate housing,” Cuomo said. “This heroic generation can’t meet this challenge without our help, and we must provide it. People who’ve spent decades working to improve this country in the 20th century shouldn’t be forced into substandard housing or nursing homes where they don’t belong in the 21st century.”
At their appearance with Cuomo, Congressman Waxman and Mayor O’Connor said Upward Bound Senior Villa will be a welcome addition to Santa Monica.
“I’m delighted about HUD and the City of Santa Monica working together on this important project, and excited about the extraordinary possibilities this will create for seniors in this community, ” Waxman said.
“This HUD 202 senior citizen’s housing project has tremendous impact in Santa Monica, where a high proportion of our senior residents are low-income renters,” O’Connor said.
Today about 1.5 million senior citizens spend over 50 percent of their income for housing or live in substandard housing. Cuomo said housing problems for older Americans could grow worse because the number of Americans age 65 or older will double from about 34.3 million today to about 69.4 million in the year 2030 – when one in five people in this country will be elderly.
The new Continuum of Care housing initiative for the elderly includes:
HELPING SENIORS STAY IN THEIR OWN HOMES. HUD would expand its successful Healthy Homes Initiative to focus on the needs of older homeowners. This would provide seniors with information on how they can obtain funds for needed health and safety home improvements through HUD’s reverse mortgage program.
A FAMILY FIRST POLICY. This would provide a $1,000 tax credit to help families meet the costs of long-term care for their relatives.
ENSURING THE AVAILABILITY AND QUALITY OF SENIOR HOUSING. This would expand the Section 202 Program by using $660 million for new construction and improvement of HUD elderly housing and by permitting a wider range of private funds to leverage HUD financing, through such mechanisms as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. In addition, $87 million would be used to provide 15,000 rental assistance vouchers for senior citizens who rent units in projects subsidized by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
COMMUNITY-BASED CARE. Included in the $660 million described above is $100 million for grants to convert some existing Section 202 housing to assisted living projects, so that the facilities can meet the changing needs of their aging population. Also included is a $50 million expansion of the Service Coordinator program for the elderly, which currently benefits only residents of HUD-assisted housing. Service Coordinators help senior citizens obtain needed services to maintain their independence, such as transportation, meals and home health care.
INTERGENERATIONAL LEARNING CENTERS. These centers would link affordable senior citizen services and affordable child care, by enabling residents of HUD-assisted elderly housing to help operate child-care centers located in their developments.
ASSISTED LIVING. HUD would partner with the Department of Health and Human Services to better integrate housing assistance with Medicaid funding for services. HUD would also be allowed to use rental assistance to cover the rent portion of a senior’s assisted living costs.
Everyone receiving housing assistance under the Section 202 program must be classified as having a very low income – meaning a household with an income of 50 percent or less of the area median income, with adjustments for household size.
Residents benefiting from the HUD assistance pay 30 percent of their income in rent. HUD subsidies under the Section 202 Program pay the remaining funds needed to operate the housing.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009