Q: Coming out of the LeadingAge PEAK Leadership Summit 2016, what’s the No. 1 priority for nonprofit providers this year?
A: To fund new affordable housing for seniors. We need Congress to fund the Section 202 Capital Advance Grant program, or to provide capital for new construction in some other way. That’s the only program that specifically targets affordable senior housing for new construction. We also have a lot of education to do and have seniors tell their own stories to lawmakers. When we do that, they pay attention.
Q: What is your focus on the policy side, especially related to the current political arena?
A: We are working on the low-income housing tax credit, which provides incentives for low-income housing. Projects can qualify for a 4% or 9% credit, and we want those to be locked in at 4% and 9%, respectively. We’re also calling for a significant increase in the allocation for the program.
Q: What are some of the new initiatives on the process side?
A: Volunteers of America is working with us on starting the Seniors Action Network to help residents and their families reach out to lawmakers and decision makers. Telling a personal story works.