Archive for the ‘U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’ Category

Millions in Disability Housing Aid on Way

February 16, 2013

Nearly $98 million in rental assistance is headed to states to help thousands of people with disabilities live in the community.

The federal money is expected to fund 3,530 housing units in 13 states for people who require long-term services and supports to live independently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said this week. Housing agencies within the states are now working with Medicaid and Health and Human Services officials to identify very low-income individuals with disabilities who are in need of the rental assistance.

Federal officials say they expect many people receiving the new funds to be transitioning out of institutions.

“Our nation is strongest when all our citizens are able to fully participate and contribute,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. “This unique collaboration of federal and state agencies will enable thousands of Americans with disabilities to lead productive, meaningful lives in their communities.”

Full Article and Source:
Disability Scoop: Millions in Disability Housing Aid on Way

Cuts in federal aid hurting NJ senior centers

January 9, 2013

Two years ago, Marianne Wall was able to serve fresh, warm lunches to nearly 80 senior citizens a day as the director of the Thomas J. Riley Senior Center in Westwood.

Now, the center — a popular place for local seniors to socialize, enjoy activities and get something wholesome to eat — is down to just 40 meals a day, Wall said.

Budget cuts, she said, are to blame.

For roughly three years, senior citizens in North Jersey have been affected by sweeping congressional cuts to a popular federal grant program, leaving towns already working with tight budgets — and in some cases, even the seniors themselves — to make up the difference.

“The federal government has cut these programs pretty considerably,” said Bergen County spokesman Joseph Appio. “I understand volunteers help out to make ends meet at these places, and we are very concerned about this.”

The Community Development Block Grant program — one of the longest-running in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s history — funds local community development, affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, infrastructure improvements, and senior centers and programs.

Congress passed a 2012 budget that reduced funding for the program by 7.9 percent, according to figures from the White House.

In 2012, Bergen County received more than $8 million in block grants from the federal government, with $702,000 going directly to senior programs, county records show. That’s a decrease from the $900,000 designated for senior-specific programs in 2010. Funding for 2011 was higher than normal — close to $2 million — due to construction projects and improvements at some area senior centers.
Overall, the CDBG grants have been on a steady decline since 2010 when the county received close to $12 million and $9.8 million in 2011, according to figures from Bergen County.

Full Article & Source:
Cuts in federal aid hurting NJ senior centers