B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) 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. Nathan I. Nagler Queens B'nai B'rith House in Flushing, Queens, N.Y. is a residential facility sponsored by B’nai B’rith in partnership with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Meng toured the building, which included a resident’s apartment, the community room and the facility’s garden.
“Section 202 is a critical housing initiative for the elderly that plays a vital role in helping to provide a safe and affordable place for low-income seniors to live. B'nai B'rith does an outstanding job in facilitating this program and it was a pleasure to see its benefits up close during my recent visit to the B'nai B'rith House in Flushing. I thank B'nai B'rith for the great tour of its facility, and I thank the organization for all the exceptional work it does on behalf of our seniors,” Meng said.
The congresswoman held a Q-and-A session with 70 low-income seniors and answered questions regarding rental subsidies and Supplemental Security Income benefits. She also addressed the need to protect Social Security and Medicare, and noted that she sponsored legislation to stop spoofing (which is when people call seniors and claim to be offices like the Internal Revenue Service or police to take advantage of them).
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.
Before the tour began Meng met with B’nai B’rith International Assistant Director for Aging Policy Evan Carmen; as well as Nathan I. Nagler Queens B'nai B'rith House staff including Regional Manager Michael Pierce; Property Manager Carlos Marrero; Assistant Manager Stephanie Cureton; Board President Doris Solkoff; and Rita Margules, former board president.
“It is vital for members of Congress to see and understand what life is like for low-income seniors who depend on Section 202 housing. We are pleased that Congresswoman Meng visited our building and met with so many of our residents,” Carmen said. “It is essential that the people who make decisions about nationwide fiscal allocations see first-hand the scope of the need for such housing.”
Currently, the B'nai B'rith Senior Housing Network in the United States consists of 38 buildings in 27 communities, encompassing more than 4,000 apartment units and serving more than 8,000 people