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LeadingAge awarded $700k grant to study affordable housing

March 14, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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The LeadingAge Center for Applied Research has received a $698,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to assess the effectiveness of affordable housing settings for meeting the long-term care needs of low-income older adults.

With the grant, the Center will study the role that publicly assisted, service-enriched housing for older adults can play in helping residents “age in place,” LeadingAge said in a release. Coupled with a separate Center study, the grant will also help researchers build a national dataset on the health and functional characteristics of older people living in publicly assisted housing.

LeadingAge researchers will also assess whether linking services with congregate housing settings makes a difference in residents’ health service utilization patterns, the association said.

The study results should provide policymakers and housing providers with a better understanding of service-enriched housing models and what to expect from an investment in them, said Robyn Stone, DrPH, executive director of the Center for Applied Research.

“Over the next several years, policy makers will aggressively debate how to reconcile the economic, health and long-term care desires of an aging society with demands for deficit reduction and putting our fiscal house in order,” Stone said. “A number of developments, including the need to implement the Affordable Care Act, will converge to create a more receptive policy audience than in the past.”

The data, case studies and benefit-cost analyses developed during the study could also offer providers of long-term services and supports helpful insight and guidance as they develop and implement service-enriched housing programs and strategies, she said.

The Center has been studying “housing-with-services” models since 2006, LeadingAge said.

The MacArthur grant comes through an annual funding competition conducted by the Foundation's $25 million research initiative on “How Housing Matters to Families and Communities.” Other 2011 grantees were the University of Michigan, Syracuse University, Ohio State University and New York University.

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