Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z 

HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-238
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 17, 1999


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded a non-profit group in South San Francisco $4.5 million to create 40 apartments for poor senior citizens and to provide rental assistance subsidies for five years to people living in the apartments.

An estimated 50 people will live in the low-rent apartments in South San Francisco.

"Too many older Americans struggling to get by on fixed incomes just don't have the money to pay for rising housing costs," Cuomo said. "HUD helps these people get housing they desperately need. We keep them out of nursing homes where they don't belong and out of slum housing."

Cuomo made the announcement in a telephone news conference with Congressman Tom Lantos.

"I am delighted to join Secretary Cuomo in announcing this $4.5 million award to assist our seniors to obtain quality affordable housing in our area," Lantos said. "My congressional district is one of the highest housing-cost areas of the country. This makes federal funding of senior housing facilities all the more critical. Here is yet another example of how our federal government is meeting the critical needs to the American people."

Cuomo said that the assistance is part of $792 million that HUD is awarding this week in affordable housing assistance for senior citizens and people with disabilities with very low incomes in 44 states and Puerto Rico.

The assistance around the country will create 8,943 subsidized apartments for an estimated 11,180 senior citizens and people with disabilities. Nationally, a total of 7,142 of the apartments will house about 8,930 senior citizens, and the remaining 1,801 apartments will house about 2,250 people with disabilities.

Most of the apartments funded by the grants will be newly constructed with the HUD funds, but some will be existing units that will be purchased, and rehabilitated when necessary.

Households must be classified as having very low incomes - defined as no more than 50 percent of area median income - to be eligible for the housing assistance. However, most people who live in housing funded by the Section 202 and Section 811 assistance have incomes of less than 30 percent of the area median. Median income varies by metropolitan area, but on a national basis 30 percent of median income works out to about $10,000 a year for one person and about $11,500 annually for a two-person household.

People living in the apartments will pay 30 percent of their income for rent, with HUD subsidies paying for the remainder.

The Section 202 Program helps expand the supply of affordable housing and also provides supportive services for the elderly. These services include cleaning, cooking and transportation to allow older Americans to live as independently as possible in their own apartments. Grant recipients receive capital advances to construct, rehabilitate or acquire housing. Repayment of the capital advance is not required as long as the housing remains available for at least 40 years and is occupied by very low-income people 62 years of age or older. Eligible grant recipients include private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives.

The Section 811 Program allows people with disabilities to live independently by increasing the supply of rental housing with supportive services and related facilities. As with the 202 Program, Section 811 grantees receive capital advances to construct, rehabilitate or acquire housing. Eligible applicants are very low-income people with a disability.

In addition to awarding the new grants, Cuomo issued a HUD report that said more than 7.4 million senior citizen households pay more than they can afford for housing - defined as more than 30 percent of their income. Others live in housing that is substandard or fails to accommodate their physical limitations or needs for assistance.

The report - titled Housing Our Elders: A Report Card on the Housing Conditions and Needs of Older Americans - identifies serious challenges to four key dimensions of elderly housing conditions in America: adequacy, affordability, accessibility and appropriateness.

The report finds that three out of four Americans approaching retirement age own their own homes, and that their housing affordability problems, though significant, are less frequent than among younger households. However, the report also finds that reduced income and increasing frailty of older Americans can place at risk years of financial, physical and emotional investment in homes and neighborhoods.

Some of the other key findings of the report include:

  • Six percent of seniors (1.45 million households) live in housing that needs repair and/or rehabilitation.
  • Approximately 1.7 million elderly households with low incomes are in urgent need of affordable housing because they spend more than half their incomes on housing.
  • The majority of elderly renters pay more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing.
  • Approximately 1.1 million elderly households report unmet needs for home modifications.
  • There is a shortage of fully accessible housing in both the owner-occupied and in rental stock.

Cuomo said HUD's new budget for Fiscal Year 2000 addresses many of the issues addressed in the report and provides funding to continue and expand elderly housing programs. These programs are part of the new Housing Security Plan for Older Americans and will enable HUD to develop a broad range of housing options - a continuum of care -- to meet the changing housing needs of senior citizens. These options include:

  • Continued funding of the Section 202 elderly housing program with $610 million for construction of housing.
  • A $50 million increase in funds to hire service coordinators, who help senior citizens get services they need to continue living in their HUD-subsidized apartments.
  • $50 million to convert existing HUD senior citizen housing to assisted living facilities for senior citizens who need a higher level of care. The legislation also allows seniors already receiving assistance through housing vouchers to use the vouchers in assisted living facilities for the first time, enabling many to avoid moving into more institutional and expensive nursing homes.
  • An expansion of HUD's reverse mortgage program, which allows older Americans to borrow against the value of their homes, so they don't have to sell their homes to get needed cash.


*Note: To calculate the approximate number of residents who will live in the new housing, multiply the number of units by 1.25.


Section 202 - Supportive Housing for the Elderly

Project Location: South San Francisco, CA
Non-Profit Sponsor: BRIDGE Housing Corporation
Capital Advance: $3,704,400
Five-year rental subsidy: $792,000
Number of Units: 40
Project description:
The funds being awarded for this proposal will be combined with nearly $2,000,000 in additional local funding from the City of South San Francisco, CA which will be used to fund the acquisition of the proposed site and other development costs not covered by the Section 202 Capital Advance. The proposed site is located near all important essential services for the elderly, including several senior centers in close proximity to the site.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

FOIA Privacy Web Policies and Important Links [logo: Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity]
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455