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Features


Preserving Senior Housing: B’nai Brith and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

By Mark D. Olshan, B’nai B’rith International Associate Executive Vice President

B’nai B’rith has long recognized the need for safe, affordable housing for low-income seniors: a place where residents have their own apartments and live independently, while also sometimes sharing communal prepared meals in a group dining room.

Since 1971, B’nai B’rith has been a leader in this field. We have applied the knowledge we have gleaned from our senior housing efforts to the legislative arena, keeping regular oversight on legislation that may affect the elderly in the United States and around the world.

With 38 buildings in 28 communities, B’nai B’rith is the largest national Jewish sponsor of federally assisted senior housing in the United States. We also sponsor six buildings in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver; as well as “flatlets” in London and throughout the United Kingdom and Australia. B’nai B’rith’s first “parents” home opened in 1958 and is located in Haifa, Israel.

With seniors lucky enough to be housed in such apartments throughout the country, we find ourselves in the midst of an escalating affordable housing crisis. Millions of low-income persons are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and the construction of “affordable” rental apartments lags far behind the need. In 2011, B’nai B’rith opened the most recent of its senior housing properties funded through the federal Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, the last dedicated “seniors” program administered and overseen in Washington, D.C.

Today, the program most available to provide funding for new construction, and, even more importantly, for the renovation and preservation of older units is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Administered by the Internal Revenue Service, this program makes federal tax credits available to the private sector to encourage investments in affordable housing. Established in 1986, it has assisted in the creation and preservation of about 3 million apartments nationwide.

To date, the B’nai B’rith senior housing network has successfully benefited from the tax credit in St. Louis, for instance, where the Covenant Place apartment complex used the program to fund more than 35 percent of the total cost of renovating the property. The rest of the funds came from a major community capital campaign. The Coolidge at Sudbury apartments, in a Boston suburb, used tax credit financing as the major funding source for the new development.

Additionally, we are pleased to report that this past April, B’nai B’rith Senior Housing closed on a major refinancing proposal to renovate and modernize the Adelstein Family B’nai B’rith Project H.O.P.E. property in the Bronx, New York. The building was constructed in 1992 under the federal government’s Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. It consists of 100 residential apartments, 25 of them studios, and one unit for a live-in building superintendent. Rent for each residential unit is subsidized under the federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Contract program.  New York State-issued bonds, coupled with the federal tax credits, raised the money to renovate the property.  

The original Bronx project came about like many in the B’nai B’rith housing portfolio. It was 1979 when the vision of B’nai B’rith member Bernard Adelstein began to take shape. He foresaw a 100-unit development providing quality, safe and secure accommodations for seniors and disabled low-income citizens. But, it took 10 years for the vision to become a reality. Then, for 30 years, the property was a crown jewel of the community. But, as time went on, the building’s residents aged; some required more services to live independently, while others moved to more institutional settings — or died — and were replaced with new residents. Adelstein, who was most instrumental in initial building efforts, passed away in 2002, and many of the original board members retired from the property or passed on.

Adelstein’s sons Marty and Alan and daughter Sherry remained on the board. But improvements were needed, and financial resources were limited.

To best meet the continuing challenge of providing housing for low-income seniors, the Adelsteins met with officials of B’nai B’rith Senior Housing who introduced them to a developer familiar with the tax credit program. A new corporation, in which B’nai B’rith and the developer play leading roles, now oversees the project.

Not only does the new management intend to preserve the existing building for the next generation, it also plans to provide the financial resources for supportive and social services for the residents. Through partnerships with local organizations, for the first time, residents will have access to community resources, supportive listening and casework services and a host of new classes, workshops events and regular activities.

With construction well underway, residents expect to see a completely renovated building by the end of the calendar year. During the work, residents have temporarily moved into other units within the complex, so there has been no displacement.

Apartments will include new bathrooms with new toilets and bath tubs; new kitchen cabinets, counters and appliances; and all new lighting and painting throughout. Exterior and common area renovations will include new masonry, replacement of exterior doors, new elevators, safety windows, plumbing infrastructure, boilers and pumps. It will also see the addition of smoke detectors and sprinklers and electrical and security upgrades.

Overall, the developer intends to complete $8.7 million of building renovations, at approximately $87,000 per apartment, at no additional cost to tenants. Additionally, all residents will now be supplied with window air conditioners. Previously, they had to provide their own units.

 According to Marty Adelstein, president of the project’s original development corporation, “Everything seems to be going quite smoothly. Residents are very excited to see the transformation of their homes taking place before their very eyes and are looking forward to be living in a virtually brand-new building. We are truly grateful for the support and partnership provided by B’nai B’rith in helping to make this transformation possible…”

Further, discussions are currently underway with the developer and the city about acquiring an abutting three-acre lot for 1,000 more units of senior and veteran housing.

This column originally appeared in the winter issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine at: https://www.bnaibrith.org/magazine-archives.html

As discussed at our recent meetings in California, we are looking to speak with any board members who would like to entertain the prospect of recapitalizing their properties. It’s a great way to make certain that not only will the building remain open and able to continue to serve its low-income population for another 40 years, but it will also remain in the B’nai B’rith family in perpetuity.

To that end, we are pleased to inform you that we are currently in discussions with a few other locations to determine their eligibility for such a program. If you are at all interested in seeing what may work for your community, please contact the B’nai B’rith Center for Senior Services Director Mark Olshan at molshan@bnaibrith.org.

A Note from the Chair

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By Seth Riklin
 
I am honored to have another chance to write you a note.  I hope you all have had good health and have been enjoying your lives.  Mine has been extremely busy. Let me tell you why…
 
For those of you who did not make it to beautiful Los Angeles for our senior housing conference, you missed one of our best conferences yet. Bruce Bleaman and his fellow board members at North Hollywood were terrific hosts.  They and their staff maintain a senior property with up-to-date, comfortable, clean apartments, including some unique building amenities. Their cooperative flower, fruit and vegetable garden was spectacular to see.  Once again, Mark Olshan, Janel Doughten, Evan Carmen and Breana Clark did us proud putting together a timely and important agenda.  The comments I heard from the attendees made me feel that everyone was taking home a lot of valuable information to share with their buildings.  Thanks to everyone for coming, and for those of you in the Northeast, I hope your transition from California sunshine to snow was not too abrupt.
 
For me, one of the most exciting days of the conference was our Senior Housing Committee meeting.  There were so many ways that B’nai B’rith has been able to add value to our individual buildings.  With the great momentum of our B’nai B’rith tax credit refinance program gaining steam, it was exciting to see the level of interest and enthusiasm from our buildings large and small.  We hope to use our program to not only help all of our existing buildings, but to find opportunities to acquire existing senior housing to bring into the B’nai B’rith fold.  We may be able to develop some new properties, too.  Please reach out to Mark, Evan, Marvin Siflinger or me for more information.
 
When B’nai B’rith President Moishe Smith asked me to become a member of the B’nai B’rith International Executive Committee, now the Executive Board of Directors, most of the board did not really know what our senior housing experts did.  With Marvin also joining the board of Directors, we began the task of educating its members about the value of our committee and buildings.  A great deal of progress was made. I had the honor of serving two terms as treasurer of the international organization.  Marvin just ended his term as senior vice president of B’nai B’rith International.
 
I am happy to share that my service with B’nai B’rith is not over.  In my March note, I shared with you that I had made the decision to run for president of B’nai B’rith International.  I did not receive the nomination from the nominating committee.  However, Chuck Kaufman of Austin, Texas, who was elected president, asked me to become his chairman of the executive, and I was nominated for that office in October, before the housing conference.  I am profoundly humbled to have the honor of serving in such a high office of the oldest Jewish philanthropic organization.  We began the celebration of B’nai B’rith’s 175th birthday two days before our elections.
 
There are other great changes that I want to share with you.  Marvin has returned to the chairmanship of the B’nai B’rith Center for Senior Services, which includes not only senior housing, but also senior advocacy and our new mental health component, which you will be hearing more about.  The amazing Abbie Stone remains the co-chair of senior housing.  I want to thank her for all the knowledge and passion for seniors that she brings to our committee.  Her new co-chair is the wise gentleman from Florida, Dennis Rice.  He brings his own high energy, and between Abbie and Dennis, we are all in for a great ride.
 
I will still be on the board of Goldberg B’nai B’rith Towers in Houston, and I look forward to talking with you on our quarterly calls and seeing you at next year’s Senior Housing Conference back in the great state of Texas.  Fort Worth, I love you…and so will all the rest of you after you attend the conference there next fall.
 
We have proven that together, we can share ideas and best practices, provide support to the boards and management of all our buildings in the network and provide quality housing and services to low-income seniors across the United States. 
 
Together we are stronger,

Seth


Resources

What’s Going on at B’nai B’rith?

May 13-17, 2019 (tentative)
Managers and Service Coordinators Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico
 
September 2019 (date TBD)
Annual Conference on Senior Housing

On the Hill

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By Evan Carmen, Assistant Director for Aging Policy

It was fun catching up with everyone in our housing community at the Housing Conference in Los Angeles, California.  As always, everyone walked away having learned a lot and enjoyed each other’s company.

B’nai B’rith Advocates for Section 202 Funding from Congress!

B’nai B’rith continues to work with the American Association of Service Coordinators in advocating to Congress on behalf of low-income seniors.  We have talked about the importance of affordable housing in relation to the Fiscal Year 19 Budget, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, etc.  We met with staff members from the offices of Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Richard Blumenthal, (D-Connecticut) Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Representatives Glenn Grothman (R-Wisconsin) and Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania).

In addition, we can report that Congress recently passed short-term appropriations legislation to fund the Department of Housing and Urban Development through Dec. 7.  As always, B’nai B’rith will be monitoring Congress as developments emerge regarding legislation to fund HUD for the entire FY19.

Members of Congress Tour B’nai B’rith-Sponsored Section 202 Buildings

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida) toured B’nai B’rith Deerfield Beach Apartments in Deerfield Beach and met with residents to discuss the critical importance of housing for adults with limited means. Deutch’s tour of the building included the computer room, the arts and crafts room and the community room.  
 
“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.

The congressman held a Q&A session with 65 residents and answered questions regarding affordable housing, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
   
“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. 

Furthermore, we are pleased to announce Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-New Jersey) recently toured South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House in South Orange, New Jersey.

“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. 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.

 Senator Tammy Baldwin Staff Member Takes Tour of B’nai B’rith Covenant House

On Aug. 22, Jennifer Garner from the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) visited B’nai B’rith Covenant House in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. B’nai B’rith Covenant House is a Section 202 residential facility sponsored by B’nai B’rith in partnership with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Garner spoke with residents about prescription co-pays, potential rent increases and health care.

“B’nai B’rith Covenant House does such important work improving the quality of life for the Sheboygan residents you serve. I am proud to be your partner in the Senate advocating for affordable, quality housing and health care. Thank you for your commitment to serving Wisconsin seniors and families,” said Baldwin in a statement.

B’nai B’rith Day

We are delighted to report that on Aug. 28, we hosted B’nai B’rith Day at Homecrest House in Silver Spring, Maryland. Jarrett Moore, who works in constituent services for Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), and Patrick H. McCarthy,who is with the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland),, listened as residents noted any increase in the amount they have to pay in rent would be “devastating.” During a panel discussion, residents wanted these Capitol Hill staffers to know how difficult it would be forthem if such supported housing were not available. Homecrest residents noted that the building is a “good compromise between independence and help.”

In addition, the elected officials were treated to a tour of the building where they viewed the salon, two apartment units, the convenience store, the computer room, the dining room and the community room.  A resident services coordinator noted how she assists in coordinating such services as housekeeping, transportation and even fall prevention guidance for the building’s residents. Once again, thanks to everyone at Homecrest House who made this special day a success!

Election Day Results

As everyone is probably aware, we just held an election and saw changes in congressional representation. As most people are aware, Congress will be governed by both parties the next two years. The Center for Senior Services team is eager to visit with newly elected offices.

As the new Congress begins session, rest assured, we at CSS will be monitoring everything on Capitol Hill. 


Resident Extraordinaire: Alice Fay Roberts Leslie, Mollie & Max Barnett and Tarrant County B’nai B’rith Apartments, Fort Worth, Texas

By Breana Clark, Program Associate
 
A Mississippian by birth, Alice Fay Roberts Leslie moved to Fort Worth, Texas with her family in 1942. She was among the first cohort of residents living in Mollie & Max Barnett Apartments when it was first established in 1986. After moving away for a few years, Alice returned in 2014 to live at Tarrant County B’nai B’rith Apartments.
 
Between her stints of being a resident, Alice missed some of her favorite parts about living in the building: planned activities and greeting friendly faces. It seems living there provided very few opportunities to be bored.
 
When asked about her mom, Alice’s daughter, Susan Wilson, said, “She’s sharp and in great health! It’s a comfort to her family to know she lives in a safe environment.”
 
As one of the oldest residents living in her building, the centenarian recently celebrated her 101st birthday. She is proud of her large family, which boasts four children, seven grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great grandchildren! Her career included working for a hosiery mill, an insurance company and as the first female page for the Mississippi Senate. Throughout her life, she possessed a talent for cooking and baking. Her family has fond memories of her homemade yeast rolls and pie crusts. She has maintained that keen awareness for taste and is not afraid to share when a dish doesn’t quite meet the mark.
 
It appears that Alice may have identified the secret to living a long life—staying busy! That and, according to her daughter, treating everyone with respect. By staying active, she has maintained many friendships in the building. While her activities as a resident have taken a different shape over the years, she still enjoys playing bingo, reading and completing word search puzzles. 
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Resident Extraordinaire, Alice Fay Roberts Leslie (left) and Service Coordinator of Mollie & Max Barnett and Tarrant County B’nai B’rith Apartments, Kandi Hatch (right).

Building Highlight: Golden Years Apartments, North Hollywood, California

By Breana Clark, Program Associate

​In the beautiful state of California, just beyond the famed Hollywood sign, sits a HUD Section 202 property called Golden Years Apartments. Established in December 1997 by members of the Tarzana B’nai B’rith lodge, the North Hollywood building is comprised of 90 apartments, home to more than 100 residents. Golden Years was built to serve, and still serves, a disproportionate need for affordable senior housing in the greater Los Angeles region.

Golden Years’ exceptionally dedicated staff and board of directors are devoted to the well-being of the building and they ensure that several programs are made available to residents. Especially popular are opportunities for field trips to museums or shows, numerous clubs and classes that meet regularly and seasonal parties.

Particularly noteworthy is the weekly English as a Second Language class, taught by a fellow resident. This has been an invaluable benefit to many residents looking to improve their English. Participants practice diligently and credit the class for their ability to demonstrate their knowledge through writings displayed in the community room.

The building’s beautiful covered back patio and a sidewalk lined with beds of plants and fruit trees provide a unique outdoor space that perhaps only California can pull off year-round. A small group of residents maintains the garden and takes great pride in providing a beautiful landscape for their fellow residents. 

On top of the wonderful daily activities, every year building staff host a dinner that is complete with a red carpet. This event is put together with special importance placed on making every resident feel like a VIP and includes entertainment and photos taken by a professional photographer.

This year, the event coincided with the annual Thanksgiving party, making for an extra special occasion. “This is the season when we can be thankful and realize what we have,” said Marieta Seirnova, property manager of Golden Years Apartments. 

Congressional Candidates for Pennsylvania’s 7th District Visit Residents at B’nai B’rith Apartments

By Evan Carmen, Assistant Director for Aging Policy

One of the hallmarks of B’nai B’rith’s advocacy efforts is inviting members of Congress and their staff to tour our sponsored senior housing buildings across the country. Always looking to build on our accomplishments, and because it was election season, we started inviting congressional candidates to tour B’nai B’rith facilities to highlight the importance of Section 202 housing. The Center for Senior Services team is proud to report that Republican candidate Marty Nothstein and Democratic candidate Congresswoman-elect Susan Wild, both running in Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district, toured B’nai B’rith Apartments in Allentown, Pennsylvania to meet with residents and discuss the critical importance of housing for adults with limited means. Nothstein visited the complex on Aug. 16 and Wild toured the building on Sept. 5.
 
Each tour included the party room, recreation room, computer room, library and a model apartment. They both met with about 20 residents and staff and discussed affordable housing, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
 
Visits by congressional candidates Nothstein and Wild to B’nai B’rith Apartments in Allentown were a fantastic way to highlight the importance of affordable housing for seniors of limited means during campaign season. In addition, it demonstrated how intertwined healthcare, income security and nutrition programs are with affordable housing. At the time of the tours, we certainly hoped whichever candidate won the race would take back to Congress the conversations they had with residents about how critical federal programs are for seniors. We want to thank both candidates for visiting the building and expressing their views on how our country can best tackle seniors’ issues in the future.
 
“Living at B’nai B’rith Allentown is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s a beautiful place, it’s a friendly place. All staff and maintenance are helpful and wonderful. It’s just the best there is,” said Bobbie Rudolph, a resident of B’nai B’rith Apartments.
We look forward to scheduling additional congressional candidate visits to B’nai B’rith-sponsored senior housing during future election cycles.  The opportunity to be on the minds of newly elected members of Congress, like Congresswomen-elect Wild, is a unique way to expand CSS’s advocacy. We are hopeful that future visits to B’nai B’rith buildings from candidates on the campaign trail will ensure further awareness and support of the Section 202 program before elected members are even sworn into office.  

2018 Center for Senior Services Staff and Volunteer Extraordinaire Recipients

By Breana Clark, Program Associate
 
For the first time in many years, the Center for Senior Services requested submissions from the B’nai B’rith network to recognize the wonderful staff and volunteers who work in and for B’nai B’rith buildings. The nominations for the two awards, Staff Extraordinaire and Volunteer Extraordinaire, were given special thought and attention by the CSS team. We were pleased to receive many submissions and were delighted that both recipients were present to receive this recognition at the recent Annual Housing Conference in North Hollywood, California.

We would like to extend a special thank you to all that nominated the wonderful staff and volunteers who work in and serve your buildings.

Eligible nominees for the awards were any compensated personnel of a B’nai B’rith senior housing building or affiliated management company, who has demonstrated his/her commitment to serve the needs of the building and its residents; or anyone who has volunteered his or her time, energy and effort to a B’nai B’rith building, and by initiative and drive has improved the lives of the residents.

Staff Extraordinaire: Marieta Seiranova, on-site Property Manager, Golden Years Apartments, North Hollywood, California
 
Marieta Seiranova began her professional career at Golden Years Apartments 13 years ago. First coming on board as a service coordinator, then transitioning to manager, her dedication to the residents and hard work has persisted over her tenure. The stunning property is home to just over 100 residents.
 
While touring Golden Years Apartments during the recent housing conference, attendees were treated to several un-prompted tributes from residents recognizing Marieta’s tireless efforts, positive outlook and unmatched energy. Residents cited the building’s numerous programs and opportunities that are a result of her efforts to create an environment where everyone can age with dignity.
 
On top of this, Marieta’s exceptional ability to coordinate, organize and be punctual make her truly invaluable to her management team.
 
Erika Cervantes, property supervisor for Levine Management Group, the management company for Golden Years, recognized Marieta in an emotional tribute. “Marieta is always thinking of ways to improve the building, even if it means dedicating some of her personal time. It is a great pleasure to work with Marieta and I look forward to many years of working together.”

Volunteer Extraordinaire: Marshall Herron, Board Member, B’nai B’rith Covenant House, Tucson, Arizona
 
For 26 years, Marshall Herron has served as secretary of the Board of Directors for B’nai B’rith Covenant House. The building, which is home to over 100 seniors, benefits from his years of outstanding service and generosity. Marshall’s dedication has proven itself in several ways. Because of his foresight, Marshall has been able to identify or write several funding proposals on behalf of the building, securing numerous large grants for Covenant House. In addition to this, he prepares holiday meals for residents throughout the year and is skilled at collaborating with management to resolve difficult issues.
 
It’s no secret that Marshall wears many hats in service to Covenant House, and his different roles far exceed sitting around a board room table for meetings. Whether he’s in the kitchen or stocking the on-site pantry, it’s apparent that whenever there’s an opportunity to do so, Marshall goes above and beyond to consider the residents first!
 
Abbie Stone, fellow board member of B’nai B’rith Covenant House, was present to honor Marshall with this award. She shared, “Marshall has a magical ability to make things happen. His knowledge of resources in the community is extensive. Without his vision the community would not be as viable as it is today.”

Recap of the 2018 Conference on Senior Housing

By Janel Doughten, Associate Director

The 2018 B’nai B’rith Conference on Senior Housing was held in North Hollywood, California from Oct. 26-30.  This annual meeting brings together members of the boards of directors and management of the B’nai B’rith Senior Housing Network for training and is always held in a city with a B’nai B’rith building. The board and management of B’nai B’rith Golden Years Apartments served as local hosts of the conference.  The conference kicked off Saturday evening, Oct. 26, with a welcome reception at the hotel, and the three days of meetings began Sunday, Oct. 27.
 
Sessions included: a presentation on elder fraud prevention from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Fire Safety for Seniors; Resident Empowerment; Program Models to Help Residents Access Nutritious Food; a HUD Update by Silvia Cuellar, Chief, Account Executive Branch from the San Francisco Housing and Urban Development office; Eliminating Barriers to Housing Access and Providing Support for Formerly Homeless Residents; a congressional and federal Programs Update; Fair Housing; and a discussion on building bylaws. 
 
On Monday evening, participants toured B’nai B’rith Golden Years Apartments, where residents opened up their apartments for tours.  Sponsored by the board of directors, the participants were treated to dinner and an entertaining one-woman show that included performances of a variety of Broadway show tunes.  The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Manager Extraordinaire Certificate to Marieta Seiranova, manager of B’nai B’rith Golden Years Apartments in North Hollywood, California, and the Volunteer Extraordinaire Certificate to Marshall Herron, board member of the B’nai B’rith Covenant House Apartments of Tucson, Arizona.  
 
The Center for Senior Services thanks our local hosts for all of the hard work they did to ensure a great meeting and for the positive feedback we received from participant evaluations.
 
We look forward to seeing everyone in Fort Worth, Texas for the 2019 Conference on Senior Housing. Look for details soon!

Housing Conference Photos

What Has Staff Been up to?

By Center for Senior Services staff

In August, Janel Doughten, B’nai B’rith associate director for the Center for Senior Services, and Breana Clark, B’nai B’rith senior program associate, attended the 2018 National Service Coordinator Conference, hosted by the American Association of Service Coordinators in Austin, Texas.

In September, Janel presented at the SPM Property Management 2018 Managers Workshop in Sandestin, Florida.  The presentation focused on how to de-escalate tense situations with a resident, how to recognize and deal with adult bullying in senior housing and how to become more empathetic towards residents. 

The B’nai B’rith 2018 annual Leadership Forum took place in New York, Oct. 14-16. In addition to conference sessions, a special gala was held in celebration of B’nai B’rith International’s 175th anniversary. The whole CSS team was present to staff the meeting. The forum was markedly devoted to the outgoing and newly elected volunteer leaders who serve on the B’nai B’rith International Board of Directors.

As a part of the agenda, B’nai B’rith Assistant Director for Aging Policy Evan Carmen and Breana sat on a staff panel devoted to domestic policy issues. The two highlighted the HUD Section 202 program and other federal programs that seniors in the B’nai B’rith network rely on, such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Social Security.

On the last day of the Forum, Evan was recognized with the Sidney H. Closter Award for Outstanding Young Professional. The CSS team is especially appreciative of Evan for his hard work, advocacy for seniors, and dedication to B’nai B’rith!

Throughout this fall, since closing in April, CSS Director Mark Olshan, has been working with the developer and board members of the Adelstein Family Project H.O.P.E. B’nai B’rith House located in the Bronx, New York. They have been working hard to finish extensive renovations to the property after the recent recapitalization of the project. The property is about 97 percent complete, and the residents are extremely pleased with their new apartments, common areas and the overall look of their new home!

To learn more about recapitalization within the B’nai B’rith Senior Housing Network, read this issue’s cover story.
The 2018 B’nai B’rith Conference on Senior Housing was held in North Hollywood, California in late October. See the recap of the conference below.