2017 Symposium Industry Report: Pay for Success

are especially vulnerable to high rents due to lower incomes and increased med- ical and care costs. Research finds that half of all seniors have incomes that fall under 50% of their area’s median income, and over a third are severely cost- burdened. 73 As the baby boomer generation ages and retires, affordable hous- ing advocates must be aware of the needs of the elderly for safe and affordable housing that promotes a high standard of living and facilitates adequate medical care and attention. A 2017 national survey by NHPF of 1000 Americans aged 55+ found that:

• 42% of retirees report daily anxiety over housing affordability • 4 6% of respondents worry about the ability to afford desirable retirement living, and • 6 4% worry about their adult children’s access to safe and affordable housing. 74

Though the housing affordability issue is multigenerational, federal programs like Section 202, which promotes affordable and supportive housing for the elderly, help affordable housing advocates provide adequate housing to our seniors, along with HUD-funded service coordinators who assist residents with special needs. Costs and Benefits of Affordable Housing The previous sections have outlined the far-reaching effects of affordable hous- ing on individual’s lives. Research demonstrates that affordable housing not only improves the lives of millions of Americans, but also reduces local, state, and federal government burden of of providing social services to address hous- ing-related issues. A stable residence makes it easier for governments to deliver efficient services to those in need, such as welfare checks and food assistance programs. Housing also contributes to higher education outcomes for children, who will make up a stronger and more competitive workforce. Individuals with access to economic activity are empowered to achieve success and rely less on government assistance. Healthier Americans are also less of a burden on our healthcare system. The Department of Housing and Urban Development spends over $51 bil- lion annually to provide affordable housing to Americans. Although there are no exact estimates of the costs of social services provided specifically to low income residents, the Senate Budget Committee reports that the federal government spends $746 billion annually on welfare, supplemented by an additional $283 billion by states. We can assume that a sizable portion of this $1.03 trillion is provided to low income individuals and households. The monetary benefits of HUD programs are difficult to calculate, but a 2010 report by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers on the impact

Pay for Success & Affordable Housing | Stefano Rumi 25

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