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CUOMO AWARDS $9.1 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR SENIOR CITIZEN PUBLIC HOUSING IN NEW BEDFORD AND CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded housing authorities in Cambridge and New Bedford, Massachusetts a total of $9.1 million in grants to revitalize senior citizen public housing developments.
Cambridge's grant is for $5 million and New Bedford's grant is for $4,146,780.
Cuomo announced the grants with Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Congressman Barney Frank, Congressman Frank Capuano, Cambridge Mayor Francis H. Duehay and New Bedford Mayor Frederick Kalisz.
The Secretary said HUD is committed to meeting the housing needs of low-income senior citizens.
"Just as we want to save Social Security, we want to save housing security for older Americans in Cambridge, in New Bedford, and around the country," Cuomo said. "Our parents and grandparents shouldn't be forced into substandard housing or nursing homes where they don't belong."
THE CAMBRIDGE HOUSING AUTHORITY will use its grant to revitalize the John F. Kennedy Apartments, a badly deteriorated eight-story concrete building constructed in 1963 that contains 83 apartments. Every kitchen and bathroom in the building will be renovated and 18 small studio apartments will be converted to larger one-bedroom units. Another 19 apartments will become part of a new assisted living program that will provide services including on-site health care, meals, housekeeping and transportation that will help elderly people live in their own apartments instead of nursing homes. The housing authority will also buy 14 one-bedroom condominium units scattered throughout Cambridge to house younger disabled people. In addition, rental subsidies will be provided to eight households. With its partners, the housing authority has attracted an additional $2.8 million in funding from non-federal sources.
THE NEW BEDFORD HOUSING AUTHORITY will use its HUD grant to revitalize the Caroline Street Apartments by turning its 64 senior citizen apartments into a model of supportive living that addresses the needs of the elderly, solves persistent flooding problems, reduces the isolation of the neighborhood's elderly population, and provides training and job opportunities for residents of public housing. Fifty-six apartments will be substantially renovated and eight vacant and severely deteriorated units will be completely renovated. An existing community building will be expanded to accommodate a senior citizens center. The center will deliver supportive services to more than 3,000 elderly residents in New Bedford's West End that will help them continue living in their own homes.
The grants are part of HUD's HOPE VI public housing revitalization program, which funds the renovation and replacement of severely distressed public housing.
There are about 1.4 million units of public housing around the nation, where about 2.8 million people live. The median annual income of households in public housing is $6,939. A total of 46 percent of households are made up of families with children, another 30 percent house senior citizens, and 11 percent are home to people with disabilities.
Today about 1.5 million senior citizens pay more than 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.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009