U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, as well as Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), this week introduced the Grandfamily Housing Act, legislation that would improve housing for grandfamilies. Many grandparents and kinship caregivers step in when parents are no longer able to care for their children and often live in intergenerational housing units. The Grandfamily Housing Act would provide grants to enable housing providers to make retrofitting and accessibility improvements to intergenerational housing to best support the needs of older adults raising children. These grants would also enable providers to offer onsite services like afterschool programming, tutoring, and health care services. U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA-2) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7) will introduce companion legislation in the House.
“Grandparents and caregivers who take up the mantle to raise children and provide them with safe and stable homes should be supported every step of the way. This legislation would ensure grandfamilies are able to live in homes that are safe and accessible and ensure both older adults and younger children alike can thrive in their communities,” said Senator Casey.
“Raising a child is challenging enough, but for grandparents it can be especially daunting. Yet so many grandparents are stepping in to provide care and stability for their grandchildren,” Senator Collins said. “Our bill recognizes the unique challenges faced by grandparents who have taken on the role of caregiver and aims to provide them with the necessary resources to succeed. By supporting grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, we can better ensure that every child has a safe and nurturing home to grow up in and a greater opportunity to reach their full potential.”
“I’m proud to introduce this bill to support families where grandparents are the primary caregivers, helping them find housing, afterschool activities, and other support services,” said Brown. “Investing in and caring for our children, and ensuring they have a safe and stable place to call home, will help keep families together.”
“Millions of grandparent-led households across the country face unique challenges such as delaying retirement, accessing their grandchild’s medical records, and securing age-appropriate housing,” said Congressman McGovern. “Grandparents are heroes and often take on this role unexpectedly: providing love, support, and stability, many times for children experiencing trauma. Our bill will help grandparents-led households access the resources they deserve and navigate the complexities of raising a grandchild.”
“Every child deserves a safe and stable home to grow up in – including those in grandparent-led households,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “I am proud to reintroduce the Grandfamily Housing Act alongside my colleagues to provide the necessary resources and support for grandparents raising their grandchildren. Housing is a human right and our grandfamilies deserve to thrive in community.”
Approximately one in five grandfamilies live at or below the federal poverty line. The majority of subsidized and market-rate senior residences do not permit children to live in their buildings, which makes existing intergenerational housing units even more critical. However, few intergenerational housing programs have the support and resources to address the unique needs of grandfamilies. The Grandfamily Housing Act would establish a pilot program that would provide grants to non-profits, for-profits, public housing, Section 202, and Section 8 project-based rental assistance programs to improve intergenerational housing programs and communities.
Read more about the Grandfamily Housing Act here.
For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.