Commission delivered final report to Congress on June 28, 2002
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August 2, 2001
  Contact: Ken Trepeta (202) 708-4302 Ext. 106

Commission Holds Successful Syracuse Field Hearing

Washington, D.C. The Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century held its first field hearing in Syracuse, New York on Monday July 31, 2001. The hearing was hosted by the Syracuse Housing Authority at their Toomey-Abbott Tower in downtown Syracuse. The Commission was joined by Department of Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Roy Bernardi and Congressman James Walsh (R-NY) as well as experts in the provision of housing and health services for the elderly.

"The testimony we received is invaluable. From the overwhelming positive reaction to the Syracuse hearing, the Commissioners are enthusiastic about preparing a quality report and devising recommendations to help head off the imminent crisis surrounding senior housing and health facility needs for seniors," said Commission Executive Director, Gerard Holder. " We are also confident that the final report will pave the way to meaningful legislation and regulatory changes," Holder also added.

America's elderly population is growing exponentially. Currently, there are more than 33 million Americans age 65 or older and by the year 2020, this number will grow to almost 53 million, or one in every six citizens. This growth will also be accompanied by other fundamental elderly concerns, including the nation's financial ability to assure the availability of affordable, quality housing and related in-home and institutional healthcare facilities to serve elderly populations ranging from the recently retired, healthy elderly to older, frail elderly. Both Assistant Secretary Bernardi and Congressman Walsh noted these concerns in their remarks and expressed confidence that the Commission's important work will help Congress, the Administration, state and local government and the private sector address the impending crisis.

"The numbers are truly staggering," noted Co-Chair Ellen Feingold. "However, thankfully, many of the tools to address this problem are already in existence and just need to be improved," Feingold added. Co-Chair Nancy Hooks agreed, "we will definitely need to improve current programs to make them work better together, and we will also need to look for new ways. This is not a problem that government can solve alone."

The Commission's second field hearing is scheduled for September 24, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio. That field hearing is set to examine the financial issues relating to providing affordable housing and health services to older Americans. The Commission will also be debuting a website at soon and will make additional information available there.


The page was last modified on August 15, 2001