Older Americans Lack Affordable Housing

Research reveals good news, bad news and some better news for older Americans.

The good news is, we're living longer. The number of people over 75 is expected to increase an estimated 1.3 million this decade.

The bad news is, many seniors will not be able to find or afford adequate housing.

The better news is that something is being done about it.

An aggressive national program of affordable housing construction is being called for that would expand government-private partnerships with the goal of developing an additional 10,000 senior housing units annually, according to Charles Gould, president of Volunteers of America.

In testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services, Volunteers of America urged Congress to enact "Expanded and improved mechanisms for financing that would help increase development of elderly housing with a continuum of services. Such a program is necessary if the nation is to adequately meet the need for affordable housing, adult day care, home care, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities care for seniors in the coming decades."

Congress, Gould said, needs to expand funding for both construction and for project-based services in housing and nursing home settings; support initiatives that preserve project-based rental assistance for affordable housing and low- and moderate-income persons; provide personal tax incentives for the purchase of long-term care insurance and create a national dialogue to find ways to develop a more cohesive and cost-effective approach to comprehensive long-term care that includes affordable housing, healthcare and coordination of community services for low-income seniors.

Volunteers of America is one of the nation's largest providers of affordable housing for the elderly, families, and people with disabilities.

You can learn more online at www.VolunteersofAmerica.org.

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