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PHI Endorses Bill to Provide Home Care Training to Public-Housing Residents

September 14, 2015

PHI has joined nearly 20 organizations in endorsing the Together We Care Act, which U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) introduced to the House on September 10.

The bill would establish a three-year federal pilot program that would offer public-housing residents the training and certification necessary to become home care workers.

Newly trained aides would then be matched up with Medicaid-eligible elders and people with disabilities who also live in public housing or federally assisted rental housing and would like to receive care in their homes.

Velázquez said that the bill is designed both to improve job prospects for people living in public housing and to strengthen and grow the home care workforce at a time when demand for such care will significantly increase.

“Without a sufficient workforce of home health care providers, many elderly individuals will need to enter expensive nursing homes, straining family and government budgets and placing seniors in a new, sometimes disorienting environment,” Velázquez said in a press release (pdf).

“By empowering public-housing residents to work as caregivers in their local community, the legislation will help keep families together and strengthen bonds between neighbors,” she added.

Local housing authorities would be eligible to apply to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for grants.

Other organizations that have endorsed the Together We Care Act include the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities.

— by Matthew Ozga

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