What Have We Done for You Lately? - February 2018

Our Story | February 28, 2018

The Federal budget took center stage during February, and LeadingAge was there to analyze, respond, and stand up for our members and the people they serve. Find out why we got so fired up about housing, what we learned about intergenerational relationships, and where you can find the useful resources we released this month. Click the links below to learn more about our work for you in February.

Raising our Voice about the President’s Budget

We wasted no time in responding to the President’s 2019 budget, which was released on Feb. 12. Within hours, LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Sloan characterized the budget as one that “prioritizes cuts to programs important to older adults.”

Sloan voiced LeadingAge’s deep concern about the future of affordable housing for older adults—a concern sparked by a budget request that would cut funding for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs by more than 18%, compared to the 2017 fiscal year (FY 17). The budget also proposes a 17% cut to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funding, compared to FY 17.

Getting Fired Up about Affordable Housing

Release of the President’s FY 19 budget spurred a flurry of activity among LeadingAge housing experts, who had already been working overtime to influence FY 18 funding priorities. Their work during February included:

  • Releasing an analysis of HUD’s FY 19 funding request to Congress. Overall, the request would seek deep cuts to HUD programs, raise rents for residents, and freeze rents to owners. LeadingAge eagerly awaits the details of an Addendum to the budget request. We’re interested in learning how thoroughly the Addendum holds older adults harmless from the budget request’s rent increases.
  • Asking organizations to join LeadingAge in sending a letter to Congress seeking adequate funding for housing and community development programs for FY 19. The sign-on letter was highlighted in a Feb. 22 action alert calling on Congress to “ensure affordable housing and community development programs receive the highest amount of funding possible.”
  • Communicating with House and Senate appropriations staff about LeadingAge’s priorities for FY 18 funding. Given the agreed-upon increases to federal spending caps, we are urging Congress to provide sufficient funds for Section 202 and Project-Based Rental Assistance contract renewals, service coordinators, and other key HUD programs that serve hundreds of thousands of older adults with low incomes.
  • Educating 400 individuals during a webinar on FY 18 funding and the President’s FY 19 budget. We participated in the webinar as part of our leadership role in the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding, a national coalition focused on securing maximum resources for housing and community development programs.
  • Submitting comments on HUD’s proposed restructuring and procurement of third-party contract administration services (formerly known as PBCA contracts). LeadingAge’s comments focused on helping owners avoid undue reporting/documentation, ensuring consistency and clarity in procedures and communications, enabling preservation, addressing complex transactions, and facilitating resolution of any conflicts or delays.

Fostering an Intergenerational Culture in Senior Housing

LeadingAge took 2 important steps forward in its ongoing efforts to foster a broader culture of intergenerational interaction and exchange in senior housing communities. We believe, and research has shown, that this kind of interaction can help decrease social isolation among older adults, increase their self-esteem and well-being, and help address ageism in our society. Here’s what we accomplished this month:

  • The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston and Generations United released a new report exploring the characteristics, benefits, implementation challenges, and promising practices associated with housing-based intergenerational programs. To learn more about these programs, read Intergenerational Programming in Senior Housing: From Promise to Practice. A research snapshot provides a brief overview of the study and its findings.
  • A new grant from the Retirement Research Foundation will allow the LTSS Center and Generations United to develop, test, and disseminate a toolkit designed to help affordable senior housing communities establish new intergenerational programs or improve existing programs. Over the next year, researchers will also be helping national affordable housing providers plan and implement high-quality intergenerational programs that positively impact older adults and members of younger generations.

Releasing Resources to Help You Do Your Job

If you were looking for resources to help you do your job, you weren’t disappointed during February. Here’s a sampling of the resources we released:

  • The second episode of our Aging Unmasked podcast, in which we explore medical marijuana as a medicine for older adults.
  • A new CAST case study about how Broadmead, a LeadingAge member in Cockeysville, MD, worked with The Asbury Group Integrated Technologies (Asbury-IT) to enhance its compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Two new episodes of our FutureCAST video series, featuring interviews with John DiMaggio, CEO of BlueOrange Compliance, and David Baker, chief technology officer of Asbury-IT.
  • The latest episode in our Workforce Innovators podcast, which examines promising practices and innovations to meet workforce challenges. This month’s topic is “Building a Healthy Work Environment: Aligning Behavior with Culture.”
  • A new Communications Collaborative, which brings together LeadingAge members who work in communications, social media, and media relations to share and discuss approaches, best practices, opportunities, and insights on message creation, management, and outreach.

Honoring LeadingAge Members

The nominations process for the LeadingAge Annual Awards opened this month. The awards honor LeadingAge member organizations and individuals that embody excellence in nonprofit aging services; make outstanding contributions to our field; and represent models of leadership, quality, and innovation. Use our online form to submit your nomination. Deadline is April 30.