U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) recently toured one of B’nai B’rith International’s housing facilities for low-income senior citizens to meet with residents and discuss the critical importance of housing for adults with limited means. South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House in South Orange, New Jersey is a residential facility sponsored by B’nai B’rith in partnership with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“Around a third of America’s homeless population is over the age of 50. Organizations like B’nai B’rith International and the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey provide a life-saving service by ensuring that senior citizens have safe, affordable housing. Since being in Congress, I have supported Section 202 housing and advocated for the needs of senior citizens. I’m happy to visit with the residents of South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation Housing to learn from their experiences and hear their concerns,” Payne said.
Payne’s tour of the building included two resident apartments, the library, the management office and the community room.
This type of housing is in constant demand, and researchers say for every low-income senior housing apartment nationwide there are 10-12 seniors waiting for a spot.
The congressman held a Q&A session with residents and answered questions regarding changes to Medicare and possible rent increases to Section 202 housing. The Congressman also spoke at length about taking the necessary action in Washington, D.C. to keep Social Security intact.
“We are so thankful that Congressman Payne was able to visit South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House. B’nai B’rith believes visits like this one are the most effective way to demonstrate the importance of the HUD Section 202 program to members of Congress. We will certainly be encouraging additional members of Congress and their staff to visit other B’nai B’rith sponsored buildings throughout the country in the future,” said B’nai B’rith International Center for Senior Services Assistant Director for Aging Policy Evan Carmen.
In attendance from South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House were: Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation Harold Colton-Max; Beth Rayman, site manager; and Christopher Bailey, site superintendent.
The B'nai B'rith Senior Housing Network in the United States consists of 38 buildings in 27 communities, and includes some 4,500 apartment units.