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Aging Right in the Community

As the population ages and the number of older adults increases, it is estimated that the number of homeless older adults will double in the next 40 years.

ELAHP has a new initiative to address this.

This initiative, Aging Right in Community, is a collaborative effort between Elders Living at Home and Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston. This project, funded by grants from the Oak Foundation and other funders, provides intensive case management services, enhanced by legal support and expertise, to older adults who are at imminent risk of losing their housing and becoming homeless.

Much of our work centers on resolving tenant-management issues. Some examples of issues we assist with are:

  • Arrears in rent
  • Home safety concerns, such as hoarding or other poor living conditions.
  • Inappropriate behaviors

Clients usually will have received a "notice to quit" or some other legal notice from their landlords or housing court. ELAHP Prevention Case Managers meet with each client and assess all aspects of the situation. It is often the case that the client is suffering from a medical illness or disability that has made it difficult for them to comply with the terms of their lease. Much of the time, these issues can be resolved without going to court, which the Case Managers will attempt to do, by connecting clients with appropriate services and negotiating with landlords. The Case Managers consult on a regular basis with MLP | Boston Legal staff. If court appearances are necessary, the Case Managers accompany the elder tenant to court and advocate on their behalf. In more complicated cases, MLP | Boston can often arrange for an attorney to represent the client, free of charge.

Our clients have very low-income, are usually often isolated with no network of family support, and have health conditions and/or disabilities that put them at increased risk of becoming homeless.

Accomplishments of this project:

In Year 1, the project served 45 elders. In 90% of these cases, the older adults' housing was preserved, and homelessness was prevented.

In May of 2014, this project was recognized as "Best Practice" in homelessness prevention by the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness (ICHH.) Further, expansion and replication of the project was recommended by the ICHH's Older Adult Steering Committee in their report, "Blueprint for Ending Homelessness Among Older Adults," which was adopted by the Council as whole.

Requirements:

  • Age 55 or over
  • Low income
  • At imminent risk of losing housing

To make a referral, call Kip Langello at 617-414-1642.