Affordable Senior Housing

The Issue

In recent years, the need for affordable housing for older adults has exploded, with seniors representing 66% of the recent increase in “worst case housing needs” households. Homelessness among older adults is also on the rise. HUD programs like the Section 202 and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance programs are critical to providing seniors affordable housing. Only 34% of very low-income seniors receive the housing assistance they are eligible for because the programs are small compared to real need.

Our Position

We advocate to expand the supply of housing affordable to older adults with low incomes and to ensure these homes have access to services that allow people to age in community. We also advocate preserving all existing federally-supported housing that assists older adults.

  • We support $600 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly new construction funding in FY19 as well as $30 million in new funding to support Service Coordinators in 500 Section 202 communities that currently do not have them. Expanding the supply of affordable housing with enriched service coordination will allow seniors to age in community.
  • We support full funding for the renewal of all existing Section 202 homes. This includes at least $632 million for Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract and service Coordinator renewals and at least $12.2 billion for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) renewals. Section 8 PBRA provides the operating subsidy for about two-thirds of the nation’s 400,000 Section 202 homes, in addition to providing ongoing assistance to more than a million additional homes.  
  • We support sufficient funding to renew all 2.2 million Tenant-Based Rental Assistance vouchers; fully 24% of voucher-assisted households are headed by someone 62 or older.
  • We support sufficient funding and preservation tools for the nation’s 1.1 million units of public housing; fully 33% of public housing-assisted households are headed by someone 62 years or older.
  • We support at least $2.8 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants. Homelessness among older adults is on the rise and Homeless Assistance Grants need adequate funding to help prevent homelessness and ensure that any homelessness is as short a duration as possible. According to HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (Part 2), “The number of sheltered elderly individuals (age 62 or older) increased 48.2% (21,549 more people) between 2007 and 2016.”
  • We support enacting S. 548, which would permanently increase and imporve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
  • We oppose proposals to increase rents for current and future HUD-assisted residents, including seniors, as well as proposals to freeze contract rents for owners of HUD-assisted communities.

Summary Positions

Act Now

LeadingAge and its members are the chief advocates for a strong federal role in affordable senior housing – development, preservation, and management including service-enriched housing. We continue to advocate for creative solutions to ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for our nation’s elders. Join us by making your voice heard on these critical issues being decided in Congress.

Key Resources