Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 22, 2012

HUD gives modest people dignity in retirement

— I’m a senior citizen living in a housing facility subsidized by HUD (the federal Housing & Urban Development program). I’m grateful for a government that cares enough about seniors with a limited (and fixed) income to make provisions for us to have a small but decent home.

My generation (AKA “The Greatest Generation”) worked hard and paid taxes all our lives. It isn’t because we were lazy or refused to work that we now rely on some government assistance; rather, our earnings were insufficient to prepare us for today’s prices. My first job out of high school paid 50 cents an hour. When I was in my 30s I was told that, as a secretary, I wasn’t worth $100 a week. And when I was in my 50s I was told that for a woman even to think of earning $10 an hour was ridiculous. Now, with inflation, our Social Security and earnings make it difficult for us to be totally free of some government assistance.

My fear is that if the Republicans win in November entitlement programs (like HUD) will be drastically reduced or even eliminated. What would we seniors do with HUD?

I’m glad that President Obama and the Democrats care about people like me — people of modest means who worked hard all our lives. Now, with the help of programs like HUD, we can live out our retirement years in dignity.

— Cora Askren