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The LEGACY Act of 2003 - Living Equitably: Grandparents Aiding Children and Youth – is the first federal affordable housing program specifically aimed at grandfamilies.

In response to a Generations United survey that identified housing as a critical need for grandfamilies, we worked with our national partners and Members of Congress to draft the bill and get pieces of it enacted as part of the American Dream Downpayment Act. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began implementing LEGACY after Generations United worked with key Members of Congress to secure funding for LEGACY in 2005.

Enacted LEGACY provisions:
  • Develop and distribute grants for not less than two and not more than four demonstration projects to create housing for grandparents and other relatives raising children
  • Provide training to HUD personnel on issues facing relatives raising children
  • Work with the U.S. Bureau of the Census to conduct a national study of the housing needs of grandparents and other relatives raising children and make recommendations to Congress based on that study
Demonstration Projects
In December 2008, HUD awarded a total of almost $4 million to a demonstration project in urban Chicago and another in rural Tennessee. Roseland Grandfamily Apartments in Chicago, Illinois owned by NHS Redevelopment Corporation, will have 10 units consisting of three and four bedrooms and serve 34 residents. As of October 2010, this project is in the early stages of construction.

Fiddler’s Annex in Smithville, Tennessee, owned by Fiddlers Manor, Inc., will have nine units consisting of two bedrooms, along with a manager’s unit, and will serve 20 residents. It is expected to open and start serving residents by early 2011.

Both of these projects must ensure that its residents receive a range of supportive services tailed to meet the needs of seniors, children, and the families as a whole.

On May 30, 2007, Generations United worked with HUD to develop and broadcast a three hour satellite and Internet training to HUD’s regional and headquarters’ staff. That comprehensive training, featured PowerPoint presentations that covered:
  • The LEGACY provisions
  • An overview of the affordable housing issues faced by grandparents and other relatives raising children
  • A discussion of how other housing programs and supportive services can help these families, and housing developments specifically designed for them
National Study
After the training, HUD released its Intergenerational Housing Needs and HUD Program Options Report (PDF) to Congress, which fulfilled the last requirement of the LEGACY law.  That report also contains Census Bureau data.

Grandfamilies: An Action Agenda to Create Affordable Housing Opportunities (PDF)
Grandfamilies: The Second Intergenerational Action Agenda (PDF)
Grandfamilies: Housing Needs and Challenges fact sheet (PDF)
The Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center
2010 Advocates’ Guide to Housing & Community Development Policy (PDF)
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