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EOEA, DHCD, CEDAC, and MassHousing Develop State Resources for Affordable Senior Housing Providers During COVID-19

Dear Owners and Managers of Affordable Senior Housing:

We hope that you, your organizations and families are staying safe and healthy as we face the COVID-19 crisis together.  We want to assure you that, despite these unprecedented circumstances, CEDAC continues to support the community by providing funding and technical assistance to non-profit affordable housing developers across the Commonwealth.

At the core of CEDAC’s work is our commitment to addressing the needs of our most vulnerable populations, and we understand the profound impact this crisis has had on older adults. Therefore, CEDAC, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and MassHousing and are working together to develop ways to support the well-being of our seniors, particularly those living in age-restricted housing, during this public health crisis.

We recognize your important role in helping our state’s older adults stay healthy and hope you will benefit from the following resources.

COVID-19 AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING LISTSERV

We have created a listserv that will enable us to distribute guidance, share best practices, and disseminate other useful information to you all in a timely manner. If you would like to join this listserv, please complete the form at this website or by clicking on the link below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScl-rTpNYXjqm9tL9AUT9Y3MlFFGXOLChINiE4Jt5Df79QXkA/viewform?usp=pp_url

DEDICATED EMAIL FOR COVID19 AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING QUESTIONS

In addition to sending information to the field, we would also like to hear from you regarding your experiences related to COVID-19. To accomplish this, we have developed a new email address that you can use to send us COVID-19 related concerns, issues, questions, and situations: SeniorHousingCOVID19@mass.gov.

While we may not be able to answer all your questions, it is important that we are aware of your issues and needs, so that we can appropriately respond at the state level to support your efforts.

WEEKLY AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING CALL

In collaboration with LeadingAge Massachusetts, we will be sponsoring a weekly call to discuss COVID-19 areas of interest and to share information. The calls will take place on Thursdays at noon beginning on April 9, 2020. Information related to registering and joining the calls will be disseminated through the COVID19 Affordable Senior Housing Listserv.

WORKING WITH LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER PARTNERS

EOEA (with MassHealth) supports an extensive network of elder service and home health agencies. We encourage you to reach out to your local Aging Service Access Point (ASAP) agency to address the needs of your residents. Together, engage the local Board of Health to proactively develop contingency plans if residents or staff begin exhibiting symptoms and to determine reporting protocols. Consider identifying a single point of contact within each agency that can have regular check-in calls to discuss issues such as changes in visitor policies, access to the building, access to food, and other policies that jointly impact each agency’s ability to conduct business. Our ability to fight the spread of this disease is predicated on communities coming together and working as a team.

Click here for a list of each ASAP with contact information.

GUIDANCE FROM DHCD REGARDING LIMITING VISITORS IN MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING

Below find a link to Guidance issued by DHCD dated April 2, 2020:

https://www.mass.gov/doc/dhcd-guidance-limiting-visitors-in-private-affordable/download

OTHER RESOURCES

We encourage you to check the Mass.gov COVID-19 page for regular updates:

https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Below is a link to CHAPA’s COVID-19 Affordable Housing Updates:

https://www.chapa.org/housing-news/covid-19-affordable-housing-updates

We also encourage you to visit the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) website for national information on housing and homelessness, including federal legislation:

https://nlihc.org/coronavirus-and-housing-homelessness

Categories: CEDAC, Resources During COVID-19

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