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Preventing Age 50+ Homelessness 🏡
💥This discussion was created on Saturday - April 17, 2021💥
Prevention is cheaper, versus rescuing us after we have become homeless!
- What measures you as one person can do to perhaps prevent your homelessness or another age 50+ person's homelessness?
- Let us discuss this onging crisis 🙂
💡MY PLAN TO HELP
I am encouraging the folks with extra $$$$ to spare to invest in building Tiny Cottages to rent to us in my location.
💡WHY I CARE
It took me being homeless July 2017 to August 2018 to care. Up to that season in my life, life was stable. It took being laid off 3 times in my 50's for reality to kick in. Lol, have no desire to be homeless agsin with me now living on Social Security alone. Yes, had to use my 401k in 2008 to pay off my brand new car. That was my 1st layoff after 9 awesome years with Harris Corporation, Melbourne, Florida. That started my unpredictible life journey, working wherever I could with no 401k.
💥WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU💥
Do you have a homeless story to share? We would luv to hear it!!!
Wednesday - July 14, 2021
Things are returning to whatever the <new normal> is for us all. Hope all is well with everyone. Stay safe and treasure the time you have with loved ones. A home is not only about the building. It is about the luv we find there. Let us do what we can to encourage <Affordable Housing for Age 50+>. Getting old and homeless is not the way for our aging population! 😱
💡MY PLAN TO HELP
I am encouraging the folks with extra $$$$ to spare to invest in building Tiny Cottages to rent to us in my location.
This may be interesting to you - located close to Melbourne, FL in Cocoa, FL.
The website says they rent but none available currently - but who knows .
There are pics of different types - some on wheels / some not -
The website is all I know about them and their developments.
Maybe you daughter could do a look-see if you are interested in this.
Appears the group in a non-profit.
Just interesting - and thought you might have some interest in it.
I admit to not having enough knowledge or experience with the homelessness issue to have thought through workable solutions. But that's never stopped me from chiming in with opinions. 😉
Two things come to mind immediately:
1. I noticed in the early days of the covid pandemic my state bought up or leased a few former motels that were sitting empty but not uninhabitable. Some of our homeless citizens were moved there for shelter and health protection. I think some were used to house seniors in nursing homes that had become dangerous to them due to wide spread covid, but who were healthy enough to withstand some service disruption.
I don't see why unoccupied motels couldn't be converted as permanent living space for those in need.
Also, I can't remember now where it is maybe in Europe, that abandoned shopping malls have also been turned into tiny apartment spaces. If the structures are still useable, there's no reason this couldn't be done everywhere, with some modification for private bathrooms, food, laundry, and other needed services.
2. I don't want to start a political war here, but America seriously needs to get over its rugged individualism mindset that is in my opinion at the root of homelessness and other injustices and inequities. We don't have anywhere near a humane and functional welfare system because everyone points to everyone else as needing to step up and do something. Clearly that isn't working.
We should look to Scandinavia for completely workable and scalable models of taking care of people, whether poor, disabled or differently abled, solitary seniors, veterans, the mentally ill, immigrants, those fleeing domestic violence, those who through no fault of their own and/or due to loss of employment due to Covid have ben evicted, who have suffered medical bankruptcy -- and just plain ole people in need.
I'm glad to see Biden's plans for beginning to address the problem of housing instability, but I'm reading that most of the funds to be allocated for this would go to only 4 states (CA, TX, FL, and NY). State government also need to step up and make this a priority. And politicians need to quit propagandizing and fighting each other, and actually work together to find useful solutions.
Plenty of money exists in the defense budget that just one year's worth of the new equipment budget would go a very long way towards funding good solutions. I'd start with determining what that amount of money would be, then work with corporate property owners AND people in need of housing to co-create some real and long lasting results.
From my readings - there are several reasons for homelessness. The National Homeless Law Center says the top four causes of homelessness among unaccompanied individuals were
(1) lack of affordable housing,
(4) mental illness and the lack of needed services, and
(5) substance abuse and the lack of needed services.
I think we know the problems - it is the HUGE solutions that we can't seem to muster especially for those in problem category #1, #2 & #3 - the private sector isn't gonna solve these 3-problems. And the government can only do so much.
Let's just talk about seniors / disabled ( those at least 62 or disabled) - I will give you an example
Back in the 70's-80's, the government had a senior/disabled program called Sect. 202 - HUD was in charge of the program's administration. Basically it was a private/public effort to create housing for seniors and the disabled in areas where they had access to services which they needed - groceries, pharmacies, doctors, alternate transportation, etc.
Very simply, the way it worked:
1. A group, usually a non-profit, like a church would decide to build this type of housing for seniors/disabled. They developed their plan and the funds which they had to have to get access to the program - sometimes, this was that they had the land.
2. The group would submit their plan to HUD and for this the group got a low interest construction to permanent loan.
3. They were high rise structures - cheaper to build up rather than out. Apartment were either studio or 1-bedromm, kitchen, bathroom living / eating area - with a nice size closet. Each floor had their own laundry room and sitting area.
4. There were other common areas - library, exercise room, barber shop/beauty shop, storage area, meeting and activity areas; even a computer room. There was an Administrator, 24/7 Security, a maintenance staff and also some social workers to help out and continuously evaluate the residents needs and finances.
Now the place was set up to be as self-sufficient financially as possible but had to take some social financial aid. It worked like this - Let's say there were 300 apartments within one of these senior/disabled high rises.
- 100 of them HAD TO BE rented to those who paid an actual market based rent - let's say this was $ 1000 per month - they got no subsidy based on their finances.
- 100 of them based on their finances had their rent subsidized by the government at a rate of 30% - so based on the market rent of $ 1000 per month - the government subsidized $330 and the resident paid $ 670.
- 100 of them were Section 8 seniors/disabled - the government subsidized them at a much higher level - say 90% - government would pay $ 900 a month and the resident paid $ 100 because they were very low income.
Now all my numbers are just approximate - for ease in explaining how it all worked.
Through the years, as these places got older and needed more up upkeep and maintenance or the building code ordinances changed and they had to update the units, HUD was there to do some refinancing, because these places had become more valuable, HUD gave more to the low interest loan as long as the places maintained their structure and ratio of residents (1/3 market, 1/3 subsidized and 1/3 Sect 8). Thru the years, this has just continued on and on . . . .
Now understand that many of these residents once they got in - they were there for the LONG haul - until they could no longer care for themselves. The rule was, you could stay as long as you took care of yourself or paid for your care - but if you could not, other type of housing had to be found and you gave up your apartment to someone else.
Now, sounds like a great plan, right? It was . . . . UNTIL . . . .
1. the wait list got longer and longer.
2. many of those who had at one time been in the "subsidized" group had spent down their assets and now could qualify for Sect 8 - they were put at the top of the Sect 8 wait list.
3. Some of those who had been paying market rent could also now apply for subsidized rent.
However, the number of residents in each group had to remain the same for the HUD program - 100 market rate / 100 subsidized rate / 100 Sect. 8 - so most of the time since the turn over was so little, everybody just stayed in their same group and got on the wait list for any help that they may now be eligible.
4. Now at the same time, MORE people were trying to get in and many of them had little to no assets and thus wanted Sect 8 creating a much longer wait list. Same was true of the 30% subsidized group. The wait lists just kept getting longer and longer - even the market based rent wait list.
5. So now there is a supply and demand problem - with this the market rate rent began to rise because they were still nice places in most areas - but with few available units these were the only units that were being rented off the wait list and that was only because some in this category were dying off. And the other wait list for subsidized and Sect.8 just keeps getting longer and longer.
The concept was a good one when they 1st started and still remains feasible for those that live there - problems is the non-profits can no longer utilized the program because land cost / building cost / running cost have escalated through the years especially in the areas which have access requirements for seniors/disabled. These type groups aren't building any more of these type places.
In fact, the same is true of public housing - because land cost/building cost have escalated these type places really can't expand in the areas where they are needed the most. Cities and towns find that the land these type complexes are located upon are more valuable to them as land to be sold to developers than in accommodating those that need public or subsidized housing.
So I would be interested in hearing any solution ideas - and it is not just this senior/disabled demographic - it is everybody that wants to live in an area that has access - to jobs, to conveniences, to needs because what is being built in those areas - few people can afford.
💥Saturday - April 17, 2021💥
- Hi @GailL1 I really appreciate you stopping by to join our discussion 🙂 Great points, thanks.
- I am interested in AFFORDABLE regular rentals, NO SECTION 8 or DISABLED set up. Lol, got enough of that here.
- I am a healthy 63-year old, on Social Security only.
- A lot of investors in this area.
- My goal is to bring ATTENTION to seniors like myself who DO NOT qualify for housing help.
Hi @GailL1 I really appreciate you stopping by to join our discussion 🙂 Great points, thanks. I am interested in AFFORDABLE regular rentals, NO SECTION 8 or DISABLED set up. Lol, got enough of that here. I am a healthy 63-year old, on Social Security only. A lot of investers in this area. My goal is to bring ATTENTION to seniors like myself who DO NOT qualify for housing help.
The word "AFFORDABLE" has only a personal definition.
Is your rent comparable to other like-units in your area ? That's easy to find out just by calling around in the general area to further define "Affordable".
Senior/Disabled Independent Living Units, which I described in my HUD Sect. 202 write-up on 04-17-2021 08:16 PM as to how they work, are usually always joined together because many of the facets of daily living which not only benefit one group but the other group as well. Today, in most ALL areas, building code ordinances for all types of structures, stipulate how things are built and here too they are considering the needs of different groups like seniors/disabled - the width of the doorway, counter heights. Multi-family rental units are even more strict because the ordinances may add in safety features such as fire walls, sprinkler systems, even certain types of retardant building materials.
If one is trying to live off of ONLY Social Security, the economic and financial stress may continue to grow much faster than any increase in the benefit from COLA.
Younger seniors also have to prepare to what lies ahead. When one gets to 65 and have to sign up for Medicare, unless one can apply for various Extra Help measures based on income, there will be Part B premiums to pay - currently (2021) at $ 149.00 per month for most people on Medicare.
Cost will continue to go up for medical care and everything else too - shelter, food, transportation - there is little we can do to stay away from increases for those type of important living things.
There maybe a lot of investors in your area - but the goal of investor's is to make money/ a profit from their investment. Any project has to be financially sound with the goal of profit and any and all of their cost has to be accounted for in the rent - property taxes, repairs and maintenance, insurance as well as a a prorated share of the actual building cost.
Never think as a renter that these cost are not absorbed by the monthly rent in a privately owned complex, regardless of type - add to that a supply and demand premium since there is a housing shortage.
💥Tuesday - April 27, 2021💥
Hi @GailL1 thanks for your second comment dated April 19th 🙂
- I have faced impossible situations in the past and NEVER gave up = stuff fell in place. Not ALL investors are about $$$ Some have hearts or have experienced being HOMELESS themselves.
- I am sure there are CHEAPER studio apartments out there in the crime-ridden city. Lol, spent 13 long months (July 2017 to August 2018) staying at the only shelter here, located downtown riding the unreliable city bus and walking for hours to get to my job. I made a PROMISE to myself that DOWNTOWN would NOT be seeing EXCEPT for my doctor's and dentist's appointments which are ALWAYS the first one for the morning. Hate getting up early, but trust me, I KNOW too much about downtown. My SAFETY comes first.
- Bottom line, it took me being HOMELESS in my OLD age, see a 90-year old die in her sleep at the shelter to CARE. Any of us can be HOMELESS due to UNPLANNED stuff. Who plans on getting cancer as an example = needing a lot of care NOT covered by insurance. Or have our home destroyed by fire = got to go stay with someone or rent/buy another place. Life is EXCITING, but also UNPREDICTABLE.
Guess that is why I have spent my life planning to be PREPARED -
Lots of insurance for everything - car, home, life, health, flood, extra liability umbrella. With Savings - personal, retirement accounts, equities, real estate
Preparing for those things that one knows is coming. Higher cost for everything. That is why I mentioned that Medicare Part B premium that will come into play when you go on Medicare - especially if living off of SS alone with little else. Some people have a hard time absorbing it especially if they don't understand Medicare. Extra help is available if (income) eligible. Government programs at both the State and Federal level is available for those who qualify for all kinds of help - housing, food, heat / air, phone/communication, health, medications. Knowing how to search for and use helping hand programs is another way of being prepared when income is limited, if eligible.
Yes, I have known people who thought they were doing OK but then something happens and they didn't understand the repercussions or any plans.
Like the elderly couple that were living off of SS alone - with both of them getting the monthly benefit; things seemed fine and then one of them dies, leaving the other - guess they thought that the SS benefit amount would be continued for the widow - not the case, the widow gets the bigger benefit, but NOT both benefits - Living on 1/2 their previous income took its tole - had to make a lot of changes just because they didn't understand the repercussions and didn't plan for a condition that was bound to happen -
What's the ole saying - Two can live as cheap as one - doesn't work the same way when one is left with 1/2 the income but with many of the same expenses.
I think it is fine if people give of their heart to others but not to their own detriment.
💥Tuesday - April 27, 2021💥
- Yes @GailL1 a lot us were prepared and life was good until the economy fell in my case in 2008.
- Up till then, awesome insurance with short-term included, awesome paycheck and had my 401k up to 12%. Company matched up to 6%.
- My concern is not about my health, my concern is the increasing rent for folks like myself.
- Everyone's PRIORITIES will be DIFFERENT.
I was always self-employed so it was up to me to keep insurance continuously in effect and retirement investing going regardless of the health of the economy.
When times were good, savings went up so that when times were down, I could still keep insurance in affect. Retirement savings were high in good times and lower in bad times.
Any landlord 1st and foremost have to cover their cost in the rental amount which they set for each unit and for which they pay as opposed to what is paid by the tenant. It does mount up and when there is an increase in these cost, the rent escalates.
However, they still have to be competitive with the rental market in the area where the units are located. They should always try to control their cost; any profit built in can go up and down somewhat based on their cost in relation to a market based rent.
Then there is always the demand factor - again based on the area and its desirability. Desirability and demand are also influenced by things like access to public transportation, jobs in the area, crime rate, (good/better/best) school access if there are children, same with daycare facilities. Sometimes demand is also influenced by the "walk-about" nature of the area.
Like I said before, affordability is a personal thing. I know many areas aren't affordable anymore to many people. Federal, State and Local governments are currently being called upon to create affordable housing by reducing some of their zoning regulations.
Governments would also consider zoning more areas as multifamily living but all that does is concentrate people and brings a host of other problems like roads and schools.
Your idea of tiny houses (rentals) isn't one that I see happening in most places. Land cost would be the major culprit. Now maybe in more rural areas it would be feasible but here again, mobile home communities are already located there and many of those are rentals.
Good Luck with your dream
💥Wednesday - April 28, 2021💥
- Good for you @GailL1 that your life is perfect 🙂
- And in this post I do not mention Tiny Living as Virginia where I live is not zoned for them. A Tiny Cottage is a regular set up for me 🙂
- In this post I had asked folks their thoughts on preventing age 50+ homelessness. People who care about this crisis or who have experienced homelessness. It is going to take people in their communities caring and getting involved.
Far from perfect - but I do like my set up
Sorry about mentioning the tiny home thing in this post but I thought that was one of the solutions which you have discussed.
Again, homelessness is caused by basically (4) different scenarios
1) lack of affordable housing,
(4) mental illness and the lack of needed services, and substance abuse and the lack of needed services.
So to prevent age 50 + homelessness each of those things, if pertinent to the situation, has to be remedied.
A solution to any of these is either gonna be dependent on:
1. the person and their abilities to overcome whichever of these conditions they fall into.
2. Government help for the short term or the long term again depending on the individual and the conditions they fall into.
How else could it be?
Looking at only the top (2) source conditions of homelessness -
Affordability and Poverty
HUD programs - Sect. 8 or Sect 202 for seniors/disabled and others are some of the ways government helps solve these problems - so we need more of this type of affordability - but how and where. That's one thing the current administration wants to do in their housing proposals - give more people access to Sect. 8 housing. Right now there is a wait list and people don't move off of it too fast.
This article talks about the expansion of Section 8 vouchers
Take America’s biggest rental assistance program — Section 8 housing vouchers — and make it available to every family who qualifies. The current funding structure leaves out around 11 million people, simply because the pot allocated by Congress is too small. Then pair it with regulatory changes to help the housing market work better for more people.
Then there is getting access to more affordable units by low and mid-income - this recent article talks about the different opinions as to this proposal.
- offering cities federal dollars to encourage them to ease zoning rules that drive up housing costs, impede the construction of affordable homes and often prevent people of color from moving in.
- tackle the lack of housing supply would lead to the construction, rehabilitation or preservation of some 2 million affordable housing units.
I have never been homeless and thankfully don't foresee that extreme circumstance happening to me, thanks to family taking me in if I needed a home. But that would necessitate a move across the country which does not appeal to me.
My issue is with rents going up and up but my income staying basically the same. My monthly rent is now higher than my entire Social Security check! So I'm dipping into savings to cover higher rent plus utilities, etc.
Tiny houses are fairly common where I live (Oregon) and some are being built specifically for the homeless community. But they are not inexpensive to buy in my area. More common for seniors is a kind of communal housing, where several "members" share a kitchen and bath but have their own rooms. I have not looked into details of this type of arrangement because it doesn't really appeal to me.
I'm always interested in ideas and suggestions for possibly finding a compatible housemate to share expenses. It's not easy!
💥Saturday - April 17, 2021💥
Hi @BertyBGone I really appreciate you joining our discussion 🙂 I am not into roommates or communal living. Virginia is not zoned for Tiny Living Communities. I want to rent a Tiny Cottage. I also want to visit the AARP CEO in Washington once the pandemic is behind us (no masks or 6 feet). She has the INFLUENCE to SPEAK on our behalf 🙂
For all from me: In preventing anything from happening here in the USA is to support what is no longer there; jobs, manufacturing, electronics industry, etc etc. I've asked more than 3 times to go pick crops here in the USA to put food on someone else's table to eat. I am not allowed to do so because I'm an American, I have a Blue Card (SS#), I speak English therefore those types of jobs belong to the illegal. This is my country & I have the Right to work.
The workforce needs to be there & for me to ever start my own business is going to take me some time, some support, some start-up funds, & I guess quite a few other things. The jobs need to be here for me as well as others.
I met a US Veteran who refused a VA physician because the physician had some of its personal identification on its wall & the Veteran could not pronounce the name. The Veteran is Correct.
The economic factor needs to be here again in the USA. Made in the USA.
I know what its like to be forced against my will homeless, unemployed, housing discrimination, any discrimination & with all the rules laws policies that are there have not helped one bit.
I am still We the People & the garbage that is there now taking everything away from me has got to go.
💥Sunday - April 18, 2021💥
You are so RIGHT @LaurajW510385 !!! I was NOT an addict, NOT disabled, NEVER been to jail or put up with domestic violence = no assistance. But I made it after 13 months in the local shelter here. EVERY day I have to TALK to myself to REMIND me that NO ONE understands my DAILY concern over RAISING rents unless they have WALKED in my shoes. Thank you SO MUCH for SHARING. You understand!!!
You are Welcome!
Oh Angela understanding is a small word more like "experience" & not allowed on my resume as a skill or talent. Its no longer easy for someone such as myself for being an American & having to endure such....craziness.
Yet I keep my Faith & I Trust in Him-One Nation Under GOD.
I'm still going through the same: being forced out of an apt. as an Elderly Woman to say the least & thus far I'm still here & no help with any laws, policies, rules, regulations, not even an act of congress has helped. I have been able to tell a couple of people No! I'm staying right where I'm at & Bless Him I'm still here enduring the law breakers unhealthy environment(s).
You take each & every moment as that. The shelter let you stay that long that is a Miracle. It will get better than this 3rd world county I now reside in. Smile!!
💥Sunday - April 18, 2021💥
I am SO SORRY about your apartment @LaurajW510385 . I live in a complex owned by a SLUM landlord who raises the rent when he feels like it. You COMPLAIN = illegal eviction. I am over it at age 63 😤