Bipartisan Policy Center Report Calls for Continued Funding for Service Coordination
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
With the elderly population rapidly expanding and more people entering retirement age on a daily basis, a task force from the Bipartisan Policy Center is calling on the federal government to spur renewed investment in affordable housing for seniors. On May 23, the Center released its “Healthy Aging Begins at Home” report that calls for a response to the explosive growth of the nation’s senior population that will present unprecedented challenges.
Read the full report
The center's task force, which was inspired by a 2013 report from the think tank's housing commission, argued that connections exist between housing and health that will affect the well-being of the country's senior population. The task force includes former Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Henry Cisneros, former HUD Secretary and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, and former U.S. Representatives Allyson Schwartz and Vin Weber.
The report recommends that a successful response will require a much higher level of focus and preparation than exists today. Experimentation and innovation, as well as a willingness to move beyond established conventions, are essential elements of this process according to the report. An ability to see important connections that span across the seemingly disparate disciplines of housing, architecture, health care, information technology, telecommunications, transportation, urban planning, and financial services is critical.
Among the task force's recommendations is to “support continued funding at adequate levels for rental assistance and for service coordination under the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program” (emphasis added). Other recommendations focus on expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program significantly to finance the production and preservation of affordable rental units. The group also suggested that a new program be created using LIHTCs and project-based rental assistance to support further construction and attract funding from health care programs for services.