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Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a strong supporter of the HUD Section 202 program, its need for expansion, and its potential for cost savings as the American population ages.
In his latest book, Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhooods for an Aging America, Cisneros, now a home-building executive, says that our nation must examine ways to support aging in place for the unprecedented numbers of older Americans seeking to live healthy and contributing lives in communities that serve all ages. Cisneros adds that as our country recognizes the growth in the number of older people, it is important that we mobilize our resources to enhance the quality of life for our aging population.
"We can support the vitality of older people, enhancing their independence, supporting their mobility, and sustaining their dignity," says Cisneros.
In a related interview, he is quoted as saying,
“We need to double down on very successful programs that have produced affordable housing for the elderly. Low-income housing tax credits: We need more. And HUD’s Section 202 [supportive housing for the elderly] program: We need more of that. In some respects, this is the least problematic area [of facilitating aging in place] because we know what to do; we just need to do more of it.”
“As a country, we owe it to our seniors. It’s the right thing to do. It is unacceptable to leave a large segment of the population on their own at the most frail time of their lives. I also think we can make the case that cost savings can be achieved by keeping people living independently as long as possible instead of going to assisted living or nursing home facilities.”
Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America,” authored by more than a dozen experts in aging and housing and co-edited by Cisneros, and including a chapter on technology solutions by Eric Dishman, founding commissioner of LeadingAge's Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) and director for health innovation and policy at Intel's Digital Health Group.