|HUD No. 01-109
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Or contact your local HUD office
October 31, 2001
HUD AWARDS MORE THAN $604 MILLION IN HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR LOW-INCOME ELDERLY
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today announced more than $604 million in housing assistance for the nation's low-income elderly. This means it will be easier for almost 7,600 low-income senior citizens to find affordable, decent and safe places to live.
The assistance is going to non-profit groups in 43 states and Puerto Rico to create more than 6,000 federally subsidized apartments under HUD's Section 202 Program for senior citizens.
"Our senior citizens should never have to worry about being able to afford a safe and decent place to live," Martinez said. "The money that we awarded today is one way we can give back to a generation of Americans who have given us so much."
In addition to funding construction and rehabilitation projects to create the apartments, the HUD grants will subsidize rents on the apartments for five years so that residents will pay only 30 percent of their incomes as rent.
To be eligible for the assistance a household must be classified as "very low income," which means an income less than 50 percent of the area median. Nationally, this means an income of less than $18,375 a year.
HUD provides two forms of Section 202 funds to non-profit groups:
- Capital advances. This money covers the cost of developing the housing. It does not need to be repaid if the housing is available for occupancy by very low-income seniors for at least 40 years.
- Project rental assistance. This money covers the difference between the resident's contribution toward rent and the cost of operating the project.
Of the 21.4 million households headed by older persons in 1999, the most recent data available, 19.7 percent were renters, according to The American Housing Survey for the United States: 1999. The median family income of older renters was $12,566.
The Survey also notes that 6.8 million elderly households paid more than they can afford - defined as more than 30 percent of their income - for housing. Others live in housing that is either substandard or fails to accommodate their physical limitations or needs for assistance.
The HUD report, Housing Our Elders: A Report Card on the Housing Conditions and Needs of Older Americans, identified four serious challenges to elderly housing conditions in the U.S.: adequacy, affordability, accessibility and appropriateness.
Some 384 groups applied for the Section 202 assistance and 157 received grants.
Notes to Editors:
- State-by-state breakdown is attached.
- Individual project summaries are available on the HUD website:
HUD Section 202 Grant Awards to States
(in millions of dollars, rounded)