In an effort to prioritize the well-being of seniors in Prince George’s County, an innovative Senior Housing Assistance Pilot program has been announced by local authorities. This program aims to provide temporary financial aid to eligible seniors, specifically designed to facilitate their ability to remain in their homes. Qualifying seniors will receive funds through the program, intended to assist in covering their rental expenses.

The initiative comes in response to findings from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, as outlined in their recent report, “Housing America’s Older Adults.” The report highlighted the escalating housing costs for older adults, revealing that in 2021, over 11 million seniors spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing – an unprecedented high. The report emphasized the crucial role of government assistance in addressing housing affordability for seniors, particularly those with very low incomes, who often lack sufficient support at a national level.

Taking proactive steps, and following the passage of senior living assistance legislation by the County Council without a dedicated funding source, collaboration ensued with state representatives, including former State Senator Melony Griffith. Subsequently, $1 million was secured to establish the Senior Housing Assistance Program. Set to launch in mid-March this year in partnership with Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development, the program will offer eligible seniors up to two direct rent payments, totaling a maximum assistance of $2,500.

Seniors interested in applying for this initiative can access an online application through the County Department of Social Services, with eligibility criteria including age 65 and above, residency in Prince George’s County for at least five years, and household income equal to or less than 40% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

The County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks, expressed the commitment to ensuring safe and stable housing for every resident of Prince George’s County, emphasizing the program’s potential to significantly benefit seniors in need. As the application is set to go live in March, residents are encouraged to stay informed and participate in this vital initiative.