We here at SHAG would like to bring to your attention yet another example of Congress not taking care of our low-income seniors. Currently the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as approved by House Republicans, once again sacrifices low-income seniors and families to favor those with far greater resources and assets. In this way, H.R. 1 is not unlike earlier proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In short, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as approved by House Republicans, eliminates tax-exempt Bonds and Private Activity Bonds, which are critical tools for financing all forms of senior living environments, from nursing homes to affordable senior housing. Eliminating the Private Activity Bonds effectively ends the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which is a private/public partnership producing much needed low and moderate-income housing. Eliminating this program will significantly reduce new affordable senior housing and cripple the ability to update and retain existing affordable housing

Affordable senior housing is a challenge for the Puget Sound region. Older adults are living longer, which means they are more likely to have disabilities, need additional services and require modified homes during their lifetimes. This hardly seems the time to restrict the ability to provide older adults that opportunity and the potential burden of only having more costly alternatives.

For all of us in the Puget Sound area, the increase in older citizens finding it harder to secure affordable housing and more entering the ranks of homelessness is startling for us, and frightening for them. And by reducing affordable senior housing, this trend will only get worse.

We urge you to call your Congressional representatives and let your voices be heard. The Capitol switchboard number to reach any House or Senate office is (202) 224-3121. These plans must be rejected until the economic impacts are not disproportionately felt by the poor and elderly in favor of the wealthy.

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