The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced $124,431 in grants to help 60 senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Rockville to receive health care, meals and other critical supportive services. The grants are awarded through HUD’s Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program.
The grants are awarded to eligible owners of private housing developments that receive rental subsidies from HUD to house low-income individuals in 36 states and the District of Columbia. These property owners or their management companies either hire or contract service coordinators with backgrounds in providing social services, especially to the frail elderly and people with disabilities, to assist their residents with special needs.
“These service coordinators help us connect senior citizens and those living with disabilities with the services they need to live independently,” said HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley.
The grants are designed for an initial three-year period to allow eligible owners of multifamily housing for the elderly or disabled to hire and support a service coordinator. The funds cover such costs as salary, benefits, quality assurance, training, office space, equipment and other related administrative expenses. A 2008 HUD report found aging in place reduces rates of premature institutionalization for low-income elderly residents, thus reducing the costs borne by taxpayers.
As the U.S. population ages and the number of older Americans grows, there will be an increased need for programs to help low-income elderly persons to continue living independently in their homes. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 35 million people age 65 years or older in the U.S. in 2000, and it estimates that by 2050 that number will climb to 80 million.