HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-318
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD office December 6, 2000

HUD Grants to Convert Senior Housing to Assisted Living
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WASHINGTON - Elderly Americans across the country will soon find themselves living in upgraded apartments equipped to meet their health care and physical needs. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced grants totaling nearly $20 million to help convert existing low income senior housing into assisted living facilities.

The grants are awarded through HUD's Section 202 Assisted Living Conversion Program, which is part of the Administration's $779 million Housing Security Plan for Older Americans, an initiative to expand the housing options for more than 300,000 low-income seniors.

"These grants will enable our nation's elderly to live in familiar surroundings as they age and need more specialized features and support services in order to remain independent," said HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, who made the announcement during a telephone conference call with reporters.

Cuomo said that in many cases when low-income residents become more frail, "nursing homes are their only option because privately funded assisted living facilities are too expensive. These grants, however, will provide an affordable option to nursing homes."

The grants are being awarded to projects in 12 states including Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Vermont.

"The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging commends HUD for these grants," said William L. Minnix, Jr., AAHSA president-designate. "They are an important means for promoting AAHSA's and HUD's shared goal of developing an affordable continuum of care with housing and services for low-income elderly in every community."

"The Assisted Living Federation of America believes this important new grant program is the right step in helping providers fulfill their promise to seniors, particularly very-low-income seniors," said Gerard Holder, executive director of ALFA's Senior Housing Council. "We know that the overwhelming choice of seniors is to live in their own homes -- in residential, community-based settings -- with dignity and independence for as long as possible. This program will enable many to do just that."

When the conversions are completed, the facilities will accommodate frail elderly people and people with disabilities who can live independently but who need help with eating, bathing, grooming, dressing and managing their homes. Among other things, these conversions will add bars and ramps and construct dining facilities and nursing stations.

Because HUD funding covers only construction costs, project owners are responsible for providing support services such as personal care, transportation, meals, housekeeping and laundry. The funding for these services will be provided by a number of state and local agencies, private grants and donations.

The grants were awarded competitively on the basis of the:

  • extent to which the proposed conversion serves the needs of the frail elderly;

  • quality and effectiveness of the proposed conversion in planning and managing meals and support services;

  • ability of the project owner to secure other community resources to help achieve the program's purposes; and,

  • ability of the project owner to complete the conversion on time.
The owners are responsible for ensuring that converted units meet all local standards, codes and regulations governing assisted living facilities. The projects must also be licensed and regulated by the appropriate governing body.

The following listing is a breakdown by state of the dollar amounts awarded today:

Connecticut $4,292,067 Michigan $1,474,610
Florida $2,753,746 Minnesota $574,125
Iowa $754,000 Montana $2,144,122
Kentucky $650,000 North Dakota $1,448,345
Maine $444,766 Rhode Island $1,227,549
Massachusetts $2,517,890 Vermont $1,221,555

HUD's Housing Security Plan for Older Americans provides a full range of options -- a continuum of care -- to meet the housing needs of America's senior citizens. In addition to the funding announced today, the plan:

  • increases funding for HUD's Section 202 elderly housing program;

  • provides funding to hire service coordinators who help senior citizens get services needed to live in HUD-subsidized apartments;

  • allows, for the first time, seniors receiving housing vouchers to use them in assisted living facilities, enabling many to avoid moving into more institutional and expensive nursing homes; and,

  • expands HUD's reverse mortgage program, which allows older Americans to get needed cash by borrowing against the value of their homes.


Content Archived: December 13, 2009