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AARP Bogalusa partners with USDA, QUAD Community Action Agency for housing repairs for seniors

Bogalusa AARP Chapter unveiled its 2021 goals and plans for the year at its January meeting. The first order of business was re-electing its officers by acclamation. Dixon agreed to serve as 2021 president with Rev. Dr. Laverne Cook continuing to serve as vice president.

In keeping with the statement from AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, the chapter emphasized the new year needs to be a time for vigorous and positive action. And we will assure all people will be able to live a life of dignity and purpose. As we move forward in 2021 we will strive to help people better understand their housing needs over a lifetime while continuing to make communities more livable. We will collaborate with business, government leaders, and community organizations.

AARP recognizes seniors want and desire to “Age in Place” and continue to live in their own homes. The recent partnership with USDA Rural Development and QUAD Community Action Agency are essential in achieving our goals. Assistance from the USDA Rural Development Housing Repair grant and loan program, along with the Weatherization Assistance Program from the QUAD Community Action Agency, are designed to provide the needed repair assistance. And we are so pleased to have partnership agreements and MOU (memoranda of understanding) with these two agencies and an ongoing partnership with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

AARP played an active role in the 2020 Census by assuring everyone was counted especially in low response areas. Census data and statistics revealed a large number of blighted houses in the Bogalusa area.

“We also recognize there is also a large number of aging housing stock in Bogalusa and Washington Parish and many senior citizens occupy these older homes,” Dixon said. “Many local senior citizens do not have adequate funds and resources to repair their homes or retrofit them to make them safer and more comfortable for their aging needs.”

Further, because it is necessary and of paramount importance to engage and hire affordable, competent and qualified, dependable and reliable contractors and repairmen, AARP may assist in making referrals through Angie’s List, Home Advisor and of course word-of-mouth referrals.

There is a community economic benefit, because residents staying in their own homes keeps the neighborhoods stabilized, stabilizes the local economy with continued tax revenue, utility payments and prevents blight from many long term vacancies. Moreover, the housing repair program may create jobs for contractors and their subcontractors and result in a ripple effect of new revenue and dollars in the local economy.

We plan to actively make referrals to our partners listed below:

 

USDA Rural Development Section 504 Repair Grant & Loan Program

985-748-8751, ext. 4 (www.rd.usda.gov/la)

Income Limits — Washington Parish

1-4 persons, $25,450. 5-6 persons, $33,600.

 

QUAD Area Community Action Agency

Weatherization Program

225-567-2336 or 985-795-9088

 

“I am also pleased to serve on the Board of Directors of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a non-profit that offers civil legal assistance to low-income residents and senior citizens, including wills and successions,” Dixon said.

 

All Homes Must Be Owner Occupied

For Information on Obtaining a Succession

Please contact:

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

985-893-0076

 

Other action was also taken by AARP at the meeting to honor — in Memoriam — its members who passed away in 2020. These members were Mrs. Mary Crumedy, Eloise Brown, Elnora Dunn, Rachel Juanita Magee, Doris Perry, Mary Stewart, and Mr. Eddie Johnson and Mr. Eddie Ratcliff.