Where will less affluent, older citizens live?
The defunding of the new construction program saves money by not funding an entitlement program at the expense of a discretionary program – Medicaid, says Libson. “People will be going to nursing homes even though they really don’t need a nursing home placement,” he says. “And Medicaid will fund the cost.”
The average nursing home placement costs upward of $70,000 per year, according to the 2011 Genworth Cost of Care Study. The average cost to HUD for a 202 recipient is $7,500 per year, says Libson.
No other program is able to meet the needs of the poorest older adults, says Robin Keller, vice president of affordable housing for Volunteers of America, the largest private owner/operator of Section 202 housing.
"With Social Security not really increasing and even being threatened, with home equity down and considering what's happened with the 401(k) investments, there's a need more than ever for affordable housing for seniors," Keller says.
Also of interest: Waiting for Social Security disability. >>
Cynthia Ramnarace writes about health and families. She is based in Rockaway Beach, N.Y.