We are delighted to report that Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) recently visited B’nai B’rith Covenant Apartments in Peoria, Illinois. This visit was a great opportunity for the Congresswoman to learn about the Section 202 program and see firsthand how seniors benefit from affordable housing. B’nai B’rith’s long history with Section 202 housing started in 1971 when we formed a partnership with Department of Housing and Urban Development (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.
B’nai B’rith Covenant Apartments, like many of our sponsored buildings, are more than just apartment units. It is a residential community where seniors can age in place. The Congresswoman learned about the wonderful amenities the building offers such as low cost meals, salon, gift shop, grocery store, community rooms and libraries.
After taking a tour of the property, the Congresswoman gave remarks, took questions from residents and shared her positions on important topics that touch their everyday lives, such as Social Security, Medicare, rental subsidies and nutrition assistance. In addition, Bustos offered to help the residents with getting federal benefits from agencies like the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bustos said, “I had a great discussion with the seniors of B'nai B'rith Covenant Apartments today about all of the issues affecting them and their families. Our seniors worked hard all of their lives and they deserve to retire with dignity, and that includes providing them with affordable housing options through the Section 202 program. I believe that all seniors should be able to retire with peace of mind which is why I'm fighting hard to protect the Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits they've earned.”
We thank Bustos for all her hard work to protect critical programs for seniors that enable them to retire with dignity. Too often Congress and the White House are debating policies that will inevitably cut important funding from federal programs that impact the lives of ordinary older Americans. Congressional visits like this allow B’nai B’rith residents the opportunity to be their own best advocate by speaking directly with the representative and making them aware of the human faces and stories behind federal programs that benefit seniors.
It was great that Bustos’ visit kicked off our 2018 congressional outreach efforts. We are thankful we were able to show off B’nai B’rith Covenant Apartments and most importantly all the great residents who call the building home.
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.
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