U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer recently stated that he will fight to reverse budget cuts proposed by Administration in its Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program. Schumer noted that in fiscal year 2010, Congress appropriated $825 million for Section 202 programmatic funding. However, the Administration’s budget request for fiscal year 2011 only includes $273.7 million. It is projected that, while $273.7 will sustain existing Section 202 housing stock, the funding will fail to cover project shortfalls for new housing development and force sponsors to find additional sources of funding to make these projects feasible.
“The Section 202 program helps seniors achieve economic and financial independence while providing them with quality affordable housing, and it is essential, especially during these tough economic times, to ensure funding is sustained,” Schumer said. “It is common-sense to boost this program that helps seniors in Nassau and Suffolk and across the nation live with dignity in a home they can call their own. I will continue to fight for funds that will improve the quality of life for residents on Long Island.”
Section 202 provides affordable housing for very low-income seniors through the provision of supportive, community-based services. While Section 202 currently provides approximately 300,000 units of affordable housing for elderly households, there is a long list of seniors waiting for assistance. The American Association of Retired People (AARP) estimates that there are approximately ten seniors on the waiting list for each Section 202 unit that becomes available. There are currently 738 Section 202-assisted units on Long Island, with 10 seniors vying for each Section 202 unit that becomes available. In Nassau County, there are 469 assisted units and 269 in Suffolk County.