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Dr. Steven P. Wallace, professor and chair of FSPH's Department of Community Health Sciences, was quoted May 16 by Public Radio International (PRI) about elderly immigrant Los Angeles residents struggling with affordable housing.
Steven Wallace of UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research is concerned about those who are currently being displaced. He calls them the “hidden poor” — people with an income that is above the official federal poverty level, yet below what they need to make ends meet.
In LA, an estimated 200,000 elderly people currently fall into this category, and they’re often Latino, African American and Asian older adults who live alone or with only a spouse.
“In the '30s, we built millions of units of public housing around the country. In the '60s, there was Section 202, which built tons and tons of seniors' buildings,” Wallace says. “Nowadays, it’s just very hard to get the financing, even if you’re a nonprofit organization and you want to build low-income housing, subsidized housing, senior housing. So something more needs to be done.”