Housing for Grandparents to be built in Newark

The Star-Ledger reported on March 23, 2008, that “the Newark City Council approved a $525,000 loan to build a development for seniors raising their grandchildren. The project is believed to be the first of its kind in Newark and the latest to crop up nationwide.” According to the article “In 2000, the government included questions about caregiving by grandparents on the Census for the first time in its history. The Census discovered 5.7 million grandparents live with their grandchildren and 2.4 million grandparents have sole responsibility of their grandchildren.”

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Older caregivers in a fix over housing

Newark is the latest city helping to provide a place for growing number of seniors raising their grandkids

Sunday, March 23, 2008 BY KATIE WANG Star-Ledger Staff

After raising five children and four grandchildren, Louise Eagle, 68, is struggling to stay on top of her bills.

With two more grandchildren under her wing, Eagle said her Social Security check is barely enough to pay for her South Orange house and other costs associated with raising her daughter’s children.

Affordable housing is a common problem among the burgeoning population of grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Last week, the Newark City Council approved a $525,000 loan to build a development for seniors raising their grandchildren. The project is believed to be the first of its kind in Newark and the latest to crop up nationwide.

“It’s so hard to find safe, affordable housing … a nice safe place to live where you’re near good schools,” said Eagle, who is the president of a new support group in South Orange called Grandma Cares.

Deborah Whitley, the director of the National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, a research center at the University of Georgia, said most grandparents find themselves taking custody of their grandchildren at unexpected times.

Those living in senior homes are forced to find new homes because of restrictions forbidding children in their buildings.

The challenge for those seniors, she said, is finding a place that serves the divergent needs of the elderly and the young under one roof.

“Finding accommodations that serve both of these needs at the same time is a trend that is being addressed across the nation,” said Whitley.

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