The Weinberg Foundation co-hosted an event today to celebrate the expansion of Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors (HUBS), a program that provides home modifications and repairs, as well as wraparound services, for low-income older adults who wish to remain independent.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh was the featured speaker at the event. Partners include the Stulman Foundation and the City of Baltimore, among many others (see full list below).
In Baltimore City, more than a quarter of all owner-occupied homes are owned by older adults, and 17 percent of all older adults in the City live below the poverty level. Because members of this population are more likely to live on a fixed income and experience limited mobility, they often have substantial housing needs. HUBS, therefore, was created in 2015 to connect many of these vulnerable older adults with services for which they are eligible. The project has been successful, but limited funding and systemic challenges have hampered the initiative. The result is a backlog of more than 600 low-income older adults waiting—some for as long as three years—to receive vital home repairs to their roofs, furnaces, and hot water heaters.
To eliminate this current backlog, and to ensure prompt service moving forward, the Weinberg Foundation has partnered with the Stulman Foundation, the City of Baltimore, and numerous organizations to support the expansion of the HUBS program. Specifically, the Weinberg Foundation has committed $3.5 million, which will leverage more than $8 million in additional funding, including City and State dollars, creating a total program budget of nearly $12 million.
“The Weinberg Foundation has a long history of support for low-income older adults, and we are proud to be among 16 organizations addressing this critical need in our hometown of Baltimore,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Foundation and its HUBS partners intend to make Baltimore a national model for older adult access to home-based and community-based core services, including care management, benefits screening, and transportation. The HUBS initiative also reflects this commitment, using home modifications as a platform for comprehensive delivery of other vital services.”
This commitment by the Weinberg Foundation is also in line with that of Baltimore City. “Baltimore is a city that celebrates the vibrancy and independence of its senior population, and we must allow them to age in a place of comfort and familiarity,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “Providing these important home modifications for older Baltimoreans will keep them in their homes and serving as engaging members of our neighborhoods.”
These modifications will also contribute to the overall health of this vulnerable population. “With more than 100,000 Baltimoreans over the age of 60, we all must work to ensure the health, well-being, and ability of residents to age in their communities with choice, independence, and dignity,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among older adults, and this transformative opportunity, supported by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, aligns with our citywide strategy to reduce falls by 50 percent in Baltimore over the next 10 years.”
Without intervention such as that from HUBS, many low-income older adult homeowners would be forced to vacate their homes, contributing to a pattern of blight in their neighborhoods. Additionally, many of these households are intergenerational, and these interventions improve the home environment for all members of the family.
The Weinberg Foundation is committed to helping low-income older adults age in their communities with independence, dignity, and maximum quality of life. These goals are at the heart of the Foundation’s Together We Care initiative, a series of projects focused on sharing and replicating best practices that promote aging in community in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.
HUBS Partner Organizations:
- Action in Maturity
- Banner Neighborhoods
- CHAI: An Agency of The ASSOCIATED
- City of Baltimore
- Civic Works
- Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Baltimore
- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
- Hoffberger Family Philanthropies
- Keswick Multi-Care
- The Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation
- Meals on Wheels
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore
- Rebuilding Together Baltimore
- Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
- Strong City Baltimore