Council Criticizes Exclusions in HEW Assistance to Senior Centers

by Council on Wage and Price Stability on November 9, 1976
by Council on Wage and Price Stability

Call ing it “a subsidy for new buildings at the expense of our elderly citizens,” the Council on Wage and Price Stability today took issue with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s (HEW’s) proposed restrictive policy toward the use of funds for senior centers. The Council’s filing before HEW noted that the proposed rules concerning the acquisition, alteration, and renovation of buildings do not permit payments for the addition of floor space to existing buildings, demolition of buildings, acquisition of land, or the leasing of property. The Council pointed to reduced benefits and increased costs which might spring from these exclusions.

Commenting on HEW’s rules, the Council’s Acting Director, William Lilley III, stated: “The Council urges HEW to explore means of improving and expanding senior centers at lower costs. For example, the propose regulations would artificially encourage senior centers to relocate since new facilities would be subsidized whereas expansion of existing facilities would not. The same is true for parking facilities. The existence of such features in the proposed rules lowers the overall cost-effectiveness of the program. We believe this program, like any Federal program, should be designed so that we get the greatest ‘bang for the buck’; in other words, the greatest improvement in facilities for senior citizens at the lowest cost. As presently designed, the program is more of a subsidy for new buildings than an aid to our elderly citizens. We feel the rules proposed by HEW are too restrictive and hope that our comments will be considered.”

 

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