Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) recently took a tour of the B’nai B’rith Homecrest House, in Silver Spring, Md. In addition, the congressman answered questions from the residents of the buildings in a town hall-style format. B’nai B’rith’s long history with Section 202 housing started in 1971 when we formed a partnership with HUD to sponsor housing for low-income seniors. The B’nai B’rith Senior Housing Network in the United States comprises 38 buildings and serves more than 8,000 people. B’nai B’rith International is the largest national Jewish sponsor of low-income housing for seniors in the country.
When the congressman arrived at Homecrest House, he was greeted by Homecrest House Board President Bruce Menditch; Vice President Michael Goldman and; Executive Director Joe Podson. Welcoming him from B’nai B’rith were B’nai B’rith International Associate Director of the Center for Senior Services Janel Doughten; Assistant Director for Aging Policy Evan Carmen; and Senior Program Associate Breana Clark. The parties talked with the congressman about the amenities and services that Homecrest House provides to its residents, B’nai B’rith’s history with affordable housing and federal government funding for the rest of the 2017 fiscal year.
After the tour, the congressman dazzled everyone in attendance by sitting behind the piano and demonstrating his musical talent. Then, during the town hall, Congressman Raskin took questions from the residents on a variety of topics ranging from basic senior issues to affordable housing to foreign policy. After the Q and A, he took time to meet personally with all those in attendance.
In the months ahead, we will be working hard to encourage additional representatives and senators to visit B’nai B’rith sponsored buildings across the country. As demonstrated by the congressman’s onsite visit, inviting your member of Congress to visit affordable housing properties is a great way to advertise how integral these buildings are to low-income seniors being able to “age in place.”
Evan Carmen, Esq. is the Assistant Director for Aging Policy at the B’nai B’rith International Center for Senior Services. He holds a B.A. from American University in political science and a J.D. from New York Law School. Prior to joining B’nai B’rith International he worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence for the Obama White House, practiced as an attorney at Covington and Burling, LLP, worked as an aide for New York City Council Member Tony Avella and interned for Congressman Gary Ackerman’s office. Click here to read more from Evan Carmen.