U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) 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. B’nai B’rith Deerfield Beach Apartments in Deerfield Beach, Florida is a residential facility sponsored by B’nai B’rith in partnership with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“With approximately 10,000 Americans reaching retirement age each day and increases in life expectancy, the population of older Americans will double between 2012 and 2050. Congress must continue strong support for programs like Section 202 to ensure that high housing costs do not jeopardize a safe and secure retirement for hundreds of thousands of seniors. It was a pleasure to meet with the residents, board members, and staff of B’nai B’rith to see how federal investments in affordable housing help maintain quality of life and independence for South Florida seniors. Every American deserves to retire with dignity. Organizations like B’nai B’rith make that possible,” said Deutch.
Deutch’s tour of the building included the computer room, the arts and crafts room and the community room.
The congressman held a Q&A session with 65 residents and answered questions regarding affordable housing, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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.
In attendance from the B’nai B’rith Deerfield Beach Apartments were: Board President Arthur Fentin, Board Vice President Dennis Rice, Board Secretary Dr. Allan Land, Board Treasurer Stephen Rose and Board member Hank Meyer. Staff members from the apartment complex included Administrator James Lynch, Service Coordinator Janet Murphy, Service Coordinator Lynn Maccarone, Assistant Manager Lisa Bryan and Assistant Manager Tameka Perez.
“One of the core values of B’nai B’rith is ‘Tikkum Olam’ — loosely translated as ‘repairing the world.’ The government’s Section 202 housing program was initiated to provide safe, secure, affordable apartments to older persons of limited income. Our national senior housing network does just that. It provides hope and a dignified place to live for over 8,000 persons who would otherwise have no place to call their ‘home,’” said B’nai B’rith International Associate Executive Vice President and Director of the B’nai B’rith Center for Senior Services Mark D. Olshan.
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. B’nai B’rith Deerfield Beach Apartments comprises three separate buildings which accommodate 271 units.
Deerfield Beach Apartments was also the site of the 2017 B’nai B’rith Housing Conference in December. The conference is held annually to bring board and staff members together to discuss approaches to affordable apartment house management. Last year B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman spoke about our role in the affordable housing community and Wendi Lipsich, district director to the Congressman, also spoke at the conference regarding constituent service and disaster preparedness and responses.
“This is the best place to live — without this federal subsidized housing for seniors, I would not have this wonderful home in a clean and safe environment. It means the world to me to be able to live independently and feel proud of my home," said Carmen Rodriguez, a resident who lives in the complex.