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Public Statements

Section 2020 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LYNCH. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2010. I would like to start by thanking Chairman Frank and Senator Herb Kohl for their efforts on this bill and their dedication to America's seniors. This legislation simply brings HUD's section 202 program, part of our Nation's safety net for the low-income elderly for nearly 50 years, into the 21st century.

Supportive housing of the type funded by section 202 is an effective and cost-efficient program for low-income elderly. Section 202 grants combine high-quality, affordable housing with service coordinators who connect tenants with health, income support, and other community-based services. This produces positive outcomes for the health and quality of life of elderly tenants.

Section 202's housing plus services model extends how long seniors can live independently. This turns out to be cost effective as well, given the alternatives of nursing home care coupled with frequent hospitalizations. However, it is clear that HUD needs to streamline administration of this program to reflect a new financing reality.

The section 202 program was originally designed to be a one-stop shop for nonprofits to cover their entire project costs--that is capital, operating, and supportive services. Due to funding constraints, HUD's 202 grants no longer do so, especially in high-cost areas like my home State of Massachusetts. This requires nonprofit sponsors to access other sources of financing such as low-income housing tax credits.

The bill before us today addresses these concerns while taking into account HUD's legitimate interest in maintaining oversight of its substantial investment in section 202 projects. Senate 118 requires HUD to take advantage of State and local housing finance agencies' better positioning to process mixed finance applications. It also enables nonprofit sponsors to share more fully in the proceeds of refinancing opportunities that are now available in the private sector that some older 202 projects have, so those sponsors can make needed improvements to existing projects and develop desperately needed additional senior housing.

For all of these reasons, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on S. 118.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. LYNCH. Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for time on this side on this issue, but I do want to take an opportunity to thank Mrs. Biggert, the gentlelady from Illinois, and Mrs. Capito, the gentlelady from West Virginia, for their great work on this bill.

I have--and I'm sure we all have--a number of section 202 developments in our districts. I have plenty, and they serve our low-income seniors extremely well and it really is a program that does improve the quality of life for a lot of our seniors. So I thank the gentleladies for their cooperation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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