Council Strengthens Programs to Help Seniors Thrive in Their Homes
Funding supports ongoing efforts to keep our seniors housed and fed
[COLUMBUS, OH] As more residents decide to spend their later years in their own homes, the need to help them age-in-place grows. In partnership with the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA), Columbus City Council will continue to support seniors by investing more than $6 million in programs created to reduce displacement, malnourishment, homelessness, and eviction in older adult populations.
"It’s important to provide opportunities to help older residents stay comfortable in homes they've lived in for years," said Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown, chair of the Veterans and Senior Affairs Committee. "It’s our responsibility to invest in people who helped build this City."
Ordinance 2512-2019 funds meal delivery, adult daycare, transportation, home repair and legal services. The $6.3 million program is expected to serve approximately 20,000 individuals through December 31, 2020.
“These Older American Act funds are granted to our network of local agency partners who work with us daily to support older adults in their homes,” said Cindy Farson, the Director of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. “The new funding provided by City Council addresses the most basic needs, obtaining and maintaining safe housing. It will be a tremendous help to those who call COAAA and have nowhere else to turn in a housing crisis.”
In addition to previously outlined services, Ordinance 2630-2019 appropriates $50,000 for the Housing Assistance Program (HAP) to help reduce eviction, displacement and homelessness for residents 50 and older.
"Most older adults are on a fixed income, so a surprise expense can send folks scrambling to make ends meet to pay their rent or mortgage,” said Councilmember Shayla Favor, chair of the Housing Committee.
The staff at COAAA works daily to support older adults through housing crises. These funds can be used to address needs such as a missed rent or mortgage payment, rent or utility deposit, housing violations, moving expenses, or other hardships related to maintaining safe housing, which can lead to displacement. An assessment determines if one-time assistance, limited to $500, can help stabilize the housing situation.
"We are trying to keep our seniors in their homes and out of shelters," said Favor. "The HAP supports preventive measures for homelessness for Columbus residents 50 and older."
"The funds are expected to directly impact the needs of residents," said Brown. "The experts at COAAA will utilize the funds only as needed, stretching it as far as it can go by pairing it with other resources and supports in the community and empowering sustainable solutions."