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New Federal Budget Could Contain Drastic Cuts to Senior Housing and Jobs Programs

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - March 24, 2011

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To address the rising budget deficit and stem the mounting national debt, House Republicans have passed a federal budget proposal that would significantly cut funding for senior housing and senior jobs programs.

Included in the House budget proposal are over $500 million in cuts to senior housing programs, significant reductions in low-income housing for seniors, substantial reductions in community programs to assist seniors, and major cuts to job training and placement programs that are used by low-income seniors.

The Republican budget plan also includes a 64% reduction in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which helps older adults return to the workforce.  The National Council on Aging estimates that the cuts would result in the loss of over 83,000 part-time jobs, thus eliminating the primary source of income for many of them.

"For older adults aged 55-64, who cannot yet claim Social Security, the loss of this program could be particularly devastating," said Jim Firman, President and CEO of the NCOA. ""According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, older workers who have lost a job are more likely than any other age group to face very long-term unemployment and remain jobless for 99 weeks or more."

The House budget proposal is expected to meet with fierce opposition in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, as well as the President.