Aging advocacy group LeadingAge (formerly American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, or AAHSA) is pushing for support for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 program, currently “under attack” by the Senate.
Funding for the 202 program, which provides financing for low-income senior housing as well as rent subsidies for the projects to help make them affordable, has been slashed by the Senate for the fiscal year 2012 budget, leaving only $369.6 million to cover existing PRAC (project rental assistance contract) renewals, service coordinator grants and ALCP (Assisted Living Conversion Program) conversions.
“There would be no new units built and America’s seniors will suffer as a result,” LeadingAge wrote in an email.
In comparison, the 202 program received $825 million in funding in FY2010 including $371 million for new development. Funding was slashed in FY2011 and stands to face more losses for 2012.
“Recent Senate action zeroed out the new construction line item,” said Colleen Bloom, Associate Director for Housing Operations at LeadingAge in an email to SHN. Bloom notes the funding remaining in place for PRAC renewal and possibly enough for a small NOFA offering to expand service coordination, without any guarantee.
LeadingAge is urging its members to push to restore the funding by contacting members of Congress.
“We’re clearly in a fight to preserve the last remaining construction program for low-income seniors, and stand up for the senior programs our residents rely upon,” Bloom said.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker