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Congress Sets 2019 Funding for Older Americans Act

Congress marked the beginning of fiscal year 2019 on Oct. 1 by passing the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, which covers many home- and community-based services programs. This was the first Labor-Health and Human Services appropriation to be enacted in over a decade. 

The bill increases funding for congregate and home-delivered meals under the Older Americans Act. Both programs would see their funding increase by $5 million each over the $490 million congregate meal programs received for 2018 and the $246 million that went to home-delivered meals.  

Community Services Block Grants are funded at $725 million, a $10 million increase from 2018. Low-Income Home Energy Assistance is funded at $3.69 billion, a $50 million increase from 2018. All other home- and community-based services programs are funded at the same level as 2018. 

Senior housing programs under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are not yet finalized. We have advocated all year to build on the funding increases achieved for senior housing in 2018 and made substantial progress in the 2019 HUD spending bill that was passed by the Senate. We will continue to urge Congress to enact a bill with maximum funding for senior housing programs during the lame duck session scheduled to follow the midterm elections in November.

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