Bill sets up office to help seniors navigate government programs

A bill to establish an interagency office to help elder Americans navigate the plethora of government programs in various agencies was adopted Thursday by the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Sponsored by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., and sent to the floor by voice vote, the bill (S. 705) would set up the Interagency Council on Meeting the Housing and Service Needs of Seniors. It would be headed by the Secretaries of the Housing and Urban Development and the Health and Human Services departments, with representatives from the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Treasury, Labor and Veterans Affairs; the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging.

The council would be directed to review all federal programs and services that serve elder citizens in their housing needs and to identify gaps in services, to eliminate or reduce duplications and to improve the availability of housing and other services.

"We need to be doing much more to prepare for the needs of our growing elderly population, which will number 50 million by 2020," Sarbanes said. He said means must be developed to help seniors "gracefully age in place" to minimize the need for assisted living facilities. And, he added, families will increasingly need help not only in finding affordable housing for seniors but in piecing together health care, transportation, physical assistance and other services.

The bill drew bipartisan support and sponsorship from Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Tom Carper, D-Del., Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., all members of the committee.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.