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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $37.1 MILLION IN HOUSING ASSISTANCE TO GROUPS IN ILLINOIS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded non-profit groups in Illinois $37.1 million to create 397 apartments for poor senior citizens and people with disabilities, and to provide rental assistance subsidies for five years to people living in the apartments.
An estimated 496 people will live in the low-rent apartments in Illinois. There will be about 395 senior citizens living in 316 apartments, and about 101 people with disabilities living in 81 apartments.
"Too many older Americans struggling to get by on fixed incomes and too many people with disabilities who may be unable to work 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 announced the grants in a telephone press conference along with Senator Richard Durbin and Congressman Danny Davis.
Congressman Davis said: "Bethel New Life and Claire Christian United Methodist Church have both worked tirelessly to try and develop senior housing for residents of Chicago. These grants will go a long way towards meeting the critical need for senior housing in our communities. Both they, and the Secretary of HUD, Andrew Cuomo, are to be commended for being tremendous assets to the community."
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.
Here is where the assistance will go in Illinois under HUD's Section 202 Program to house the elderly and under the Section 811 Program to house people with disabilities:
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:
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:
HUD FUNDING FOR HOUSING FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
*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: Chicago, IL
The funds will be used for a 62 unit, new construction development for the elderly in the city of Chicago. The project will have a community room, a garden/craft room and an area reserved for vegetable and flower gardens for the residents to plant. Special spaces will provide passive and active recreational opportunities.
Project Location: Chicago, IL
The funds will be used for the rehabilitation of an 85-unit development for the elderly in the city of Chicago. The Sponsor is proposing to rehabilitate a wing of the former St. Anne's Hospital on the west side of the city. Activity space, a dining area with cooking facilities, and a lounge will be located on the first floor. All units will be fully handicapped accessible.
Project Location: Country Club Hills, IL
The funds will be used for a 71-unit, new construction development for the elderly in Country Club Hills, Illinois. Five percent of all the units will be handicapped accessible and the remainder will be fully adaptable for future accessibility. The building will provide other passive and active recreational opportunities. A modest sized paved patio will be adjacent to the community room. Next to the garden/craft room will be an area reserved for tenant vegetable and flower gardens.
Project Location: Freeport, IL
The funds will be used for a 34-unit, new construction development for the elderly in Freeport, Illinois. The project will have a community room, garden area for tenants and barbecue grill. Space will be provided for a beauty shop, visiting nurses, medical checks, senior work out space and small vending machine area.
Project Location: Henry, IL
The funds will be used to build 12 duplex residential buildings for a total of 24 units for the elderly in Henry, Illinois. There will be a separate community building that will have meeting, laundry and storage rooms for the tenants.
Project Location: Loves Park, IL
The funds will be used for a 40-unit, new construction development for the elderly in Loves Park, Illinois. The project will have a community room, garden area for tenants, and barbecue grill. Space will be provided for a beauty shop, visiting nurses, medical checks, senior work out space and a small vending machine area.
Section 811 - Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
Project Location: Alton, IL
The funds will be used for 20 newly constructed units for persons with chronic mental illness at two sites in Alton, Illinois. The project will have a multi-purpose space to be used for socializing as well as meetings and educational events.
Project Location: Decatur, IL
The funds will be used for an 18-unit, new construction development for 17 persons with chronic mental illness in the city of Decatur. The project will have a resident manager who will be a mental health professional. The manager will be sensitive to the needs of the residents and their families. The development will have a community room for meetings and special events.
Project Location: Dixon, IL
The funds will be used for an 8-unit, new construction development for persons with chronic mental illness in the city of Dixon. The project will have a community room and a garden area for residents. Support services will provide medication monitoring, clinical and social support, transportation, and psychiatric and therapy services.
Project Location: Elgin, IL
The funds will be used to develop 3 buildings and 16 units of new construction for persons with developmental disabilities. Sites in Aurora, Hanover Park and Elgin will be used. Residents will be provided supportive services in the following areas: community living skills, social and communication skills, personal living and motor skills.
Project Location: Green Oaks, IL
The funds will be used for a newly constructed 19-unit project for persons with developmental disabilities in Green Oaks, Illinois. It will consist of two 9-unit buildings with an apartment for a resident manager in one building. Residents will receive supportive services in the following areas: community integration daily life skill training, economic self sufficiency and social skills.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009