A proposed bill seeks to invest $100 million over the next two years into affordable senior housing to modify that housing and invest in staff to help residents raising grandchildren access resources.
The Grandfamily Housing Act, introduced by U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), would help nonprofits and housing programs, including the Section 202 supportive housing for the elderly program, establish a nationwide pilot program to modify housing, fund residential coordinators and finance the upkeep of housing and communal spaces.
“Grandfamily caregivers grapple with unique and pressing issues that this bill would address by providing greatly needed support, including funds for staffing, services, facilities, community outreach and other services,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a statement.
The bill was born out of a 2019 roundtable the two legislators held, where the challenges older adults face when raising a grandchild were discussed. It also would build on the 2018 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act by providing federal funding dedicated to supporting grandparents raising grandchildren.
“There are millions of grandparent-led households across the country that face unique challenges, such as delaying retirement, accessing their grandchild’s medical records and securing age-appropriate housing,” McGovern said. “Our bill takes the first step toward creating a more equitable environment for multigenerational families by establishing a new nationwide pilot program to modify appropriate housing and fund residential coordinators to help grandparents navigate the complexities of raising a grandchild.”
Pressley said the bill would ensure grandfamilies “have a safe, affordable and age-appropriate place to call home” and receive necessary resources.