U.S. House Proposes Bill With $100 Million Aging in Place Provision

A new bill being proposed by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and discussed in a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday morning includes a proposed allocation of $100 million to address the needs of rural seniors to age in place.

The “Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2019” aims to provide funding for the backlog of capital needs, protection of communities from future disasters, and funding for senior households to allow them to remain in their homes longer.

While the aging in place provision is comparatively smaller compared to the bill’s other proposed disbursements, its inclusion specifically seeks to address the needs of older Americans who may be more isolated because of their location in rural areas of the country.

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In a Tuesday hearing of the House Financial Services Committee titled “Housing in America: Assessing the Infrastructure Needs of America’s Housing Stock,” committee Chairwoman Waters discussed the proposed aims of the legislation in her opening remarks.

“Studies find that the lack of affordable housing hurts economic productivity and wages,” Waters said. “For these and other reasons, I’ve put forth the discussion drafts that would make the investments we need in our housing infrastructure and in critical jobs across the country.”

The relevant provision in the bill offers $100 million for, “carrying out single family housing repair loans and grants.” In her opening remarks at Tuesday’s hearing, Waters specifically cited the $100 million disbursement and described its intent to fund seniors’ desire to remain in their homes.

“[The bill proposal includes] $100 million to help low-income elderly households in rural areas age in place,” Waters said.

The full draft of the bill contains more than $90 billion of proposed disbursements designed to answer other issues related to affordable housing. A vote has not yet been scheduled for passage in the House, but the draft would likely require changes in order to increase its chances of passage in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The current draft of the bill can be read on the House Financial Services Committee website.

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