The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Thursday announcement of $50 million in funding for the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program is “particularly impactful in light of the fact that Congress has not provided funding for new 202 housing since fiscal year 2010,” LeadingAge said Friday.

In its announcement, HUD said it expects to grant 30 awards ranging from $50,000 to $5 million each. Aug. 28 is the deadline for organizations to apply for the funds, which Congress appropriated in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

“With demand far exceeding the current supply, this financial support is incredibly welcome news,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a statement.

The need for low-income supportive housing for older adults has increased steadily since the 202 program’s last funding for new construction in fiscal year 2010, according to LeadingAge. Of the 582,000 household increase in “worst-case” housing needs HUD reported to Congress in 2017, 66% were older-adult households. A household is considered “worst case” if residents’ income is less than 50% of the area median and they pay more than half of their income for rent.

“Re-funding a program after years of drought is a rarity,” LeadingAge Vice President of Housing Policy Linda Couch said in a statement. “We’re grateful for this positive change, which we interpret as a recognition of both its success and a response to tremendous need.”

Over the past year, LeadingAge said, organization staff and members as well as Section 202 residents made thousands of contacts with elected officials in support of additional resources for the Section 202 program. Hundreds of housing advocates and older adults who live in 202 housing participated in LeadingAge’s June 2017 SaveHUD202 rally in Washington, D.C., sharing stories to demonstrate the 202 program’s effects.