The failure of the bipartisan ‘supercommittee’ to take a cut out of the country’s deficit spending will have a profound effect on seniors here in the Richmond metropolitan area.
The committee, made up of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats have gone the way of all previous attempts to give the public a workable solution to our financial crisis.
They needed to come up with a workable plan to cut $1.2 trillion over a span of 10 years. And seniors all across the country had a huge stake in the outcome. A major source of concern is not only Social Security and Medicare benefits, but housing.
Now, to talk about the ‘two-edged sword’. Seniors here in Henrico and the Richmond area should remember that it has already been forecast that your numbers are on the increase with the coming of retirement age of our ‘baby boomers’.
The Virginia state Agency on Aging, along with other agencies, estimate the increase in the 55+ portion of our population will increase at a rate of 4.1% over the next 10 years. The actual numbers of retirees will have an affect on employment, healthcare and housing.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Funding for the building of low-income housing for seniors was taken out of the 2012 budget as part of the negotiations. The section 202 program, that is part of HUD’s capital appropriiations bill was signed by President Obama this week.
What that means is that the funding for the current section 202 recipients will be allowed to be used to finish the projects already in the works, but, no further building of any new housing will be done.
Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
The Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, part of the Section 202 program with HUD allows for housing subsidies for seniors over 62 years of age needing assistance with activities of daily living.
Those seniors meeting state guidelines would qualify for aide based on income. The problem is this, with the funding being taken out of the new budget, only those seniors living in units already built would be able to qualify.
According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, with 1.3 million people over 62 meeting the HUD guidelines, and a waiting list of at least 10 people for each unit already existing, we are looking at a problem that knows no bounds.
There has got to be answers to this problem, not just here in Richmond and the surrounding counties, but state and nationwide. This week we will look at some possible solutions to the housing problem here in our area.