Unfortunately, the HUD Section 202 program, which has a long history of providing independent living apartments for seniors with very low incomes and few other options, has essentially been dismantled. The LIHTC program fills some of the need for moderate-income residents, but for seniors with low-incomes--often solely SSI--those rents are still too high. In addition, the HUD 202 program has consistently provided housing in rural areas and small towns to allow rural seniors to remain in their communities.
It's a shame that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is getting out of the business of Housing at a time like this.
To quote from the article,
As all signs point to a fast-growing need for more affordable housing, funding to develop projects is shrinking.
“As the population is growing, the appropriations and supply are dropping,” says Bill Kelly, president and CEO of Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), a network of 12 social enterprise nonprofits. “We’ve reduced our investments, there are long waiting lists, and we need to step it up.”
Kelly points to the downsizing of the Sec. 202 program as one of the culprits. “It’s gone from a very large program to a small program to nothing,” he says. In the 1970s, tens of thousands of Sec. 202 units were built for seniors. But those numbers trickled down to 3,000 to 4,000 a year, with no new money for the program in the fiscal 2012 HUD budget.
We have seen first-hand the success of the HUD Section 202 program. It is effective and efficient, and it really works.
Something will have to give. We are keeping a close eye on alternative ways to meet this growing need for affordable senior housing.