Occasional Papers In Housing And Community Affairs. Volume 3
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) presently faces a serious dilemma in meeting the housing needs of the elderly. It is caught in the middle between interest groups representing the elderly and those representing younger people, all of whom criticize HUD's efforts as inadequate for their needs. Given its relatively fixed housing budget, HUD is at the point where gains for one group are achieved only at the expense of another. One author has observed.
The United States is••• set on a collision course between the promises it has made to its older citizens and its commitments to special-interest groups, other minorities which individually are much less numerous and politically hardly more powerful, though more visible and more vocal. It is not very likely that the promises to both groups can be honored. To do so would mean a social welfare expenditure 50 to 60 percent higher than that of 1975. Even if the economy grows very fast, the welfare expenditures would grow much faster; by the early eighties, if we continue on the present course, welfare expenditures alone without a penny spent on all other needs•••would take half•••of a substantially larger GNP.
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