Government Assisted Housing
The service inadequacy is compounded by the case mix of young and old. Traditionally, older and younger persons with physical disabilities lived side by side in the units. Then, due to deinstitutionalization in the 1960s and 1970s, discharged mental patients with no other housing opportunities began to occupy the units. By 1991, 10 percent of the three hundred thousand units housed younger persons with mental disabilities. Interest groups advocating on behalf of younger people with drug and alcohol addiction argued that disproportionate amounts of housing subsidies were spent for the low-income elderly. As the aging network continued to pressure Congress against funding projects with mixed populations, HUD rules and regulations remained ambiguous and the admission of younger and mixed groups continued. Many older residents have reported concerns about physical safety, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life in mixed congregate housing projects.
In spite of the unprecedented economic growth in the 1990s, housing assistance for low-income elderly and persons with disabilities has remained a very low priority. All of the existing programs—public housing, Section 202, Section 8—have been funded at levels far below demonstrated needs.
BÉLA JOHN BOGNÁR
American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy Institute. The Housing Assistance Needs of Older Americans. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 1995.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing Our Elders: A Report Card on the Housing Conditions and Needs of Older Americans. Washington D.C.: HUD, 1999.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The State of the Cities 2000. Washington, D.C.: HUD, 2000.
National Resource and Policy Center on Housing and Long Term Care. Housing Highlights: Government Assisted Highlights. www.aoa.dhhs.gov/
Picture of Subsidized Households—1998. www.huduser.org.
The State of the Nation's Housing: 2000. www.gsd.harvard.edu.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FY 2000 Budget of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 1999. www.hud.gov/budget.html.