2020 taught us many lessons about our healthcare system and rampant racial inequality in America. One of the biggest lessons learned: we need to take better care of older people who have suffered dreadfully from the pandemic. To date, approximately 40% of the people who’ve died from Covid-19 either lived in or worked at nursing homes and other senior congregate living facilities, that is more than 100,000 deaths. The results of Covid-19 refute the notion that congregate senior housing is the safest place for the elderly. AARP is calling this “An American Tragedy.”
Clearly, our work to facilitate aging safely in place is more important than ever. Fortunately, thanks to many of you, 2020 was a year of growth for the HomesRenewed movement, strengthening our campaign to increase the number of American homes prepared for residents to live throughout the modern lifespan.
Like everyone else, we are happy to see 2020 behind us and are looking forward to 2021. With the new administration and 117th Congress, we are excited about the possibilities for new legislation that would empower people to upgrade their homes and make way for the growth of an innovative marketplace for products and services for safe and affordable aging in place. To make that happen, the HomesRenewed Coalition launched our 2021 Legislative Campaign and is aggressively raising $300,000 to support it.
The Coalition has engaged Tom Sheridan of The Sheridan Group (TSG) to spearhead the campaign, which proposes tax incentives for homeowners to modify their homes for greater accessibility.
Other critically important work was undertaken in 2020 by a new HomesRenewed Resource Center (HRRC) board member Dr. Jesse Abraham, a former SVP of Modeling at Wells Fargo Bank. He ran the numbers and concluded that investments in home modifications will show a significant return on investments through healthcare savings. We believe our policy recommendations will gain bipartisan support because the numbers show that they will ultimately save the government money.
We welcomed two additional new HRRC board members: Chuck Schilke, a real estate developer, financier, lawyer and educator based in Washington, DC; and Kristin Amerling, a policy consultant and attorney with substantial senior-level experience in the executive and legislative branches. We truly appreciate their attention and guidance. In addition Hannah Brock joins HRRC this semester for her capstone project to complete a doctorate in occupational therapy.
We need your help to assure our success (1) Join the Coalition and (2) partner with us to get the word out to your disciplines and constituencies. Financial support is key to engaging and managing all the resources we need to succeed.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to plan a discussion.
We at HomesRenewed wish you a productive, safe and joyful 2021 and look forward to seeing and working with you this year.