Bill reintroduced in U.S. House to support grandparents raising grandchildren

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(Nexstar DC photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) – U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (MA-02) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) reintroduced the Grandfamily Housing Act, a bill to create a new, nationwide pilot program to provide funding to help grandparents raising their grandchildren access safe, affordable and appropriate housing.

The Grandfamily Housing Act builds on many of the concerns that McGovern and Pressley heard at a meeting on the issue held in Worcester in 2019. Grandparents discussed challenges faced when raising grandchildren, including finances, access to school and medical records, and adequate housing.

“There are millions of grandparent-led households across the country that face unique challenges such as delaying retirement, accessing their grandchild’s medical records, and securing age-appropriate housing,” said Congressman McGovern. “Grandparents often take on this role unexpectedly—providing love, support, and stability, especially for children experiencing trauma. But the bottom line is that the resources that are available to parents often aren’t there for grandparents. Our bill takes the first step towards creating a more equitable environment for multigenerational families by establishing a new nationwide pilot program to modify appropriate housing and fund residential coordinators to help grandparents navigate the complexities of raising a grandchild. Every child in our country deserves to grow in a safe, loving environment that allows them to live up to their full potential, and that’s what our bill is all about.”

“For too long, our society has failed to recognize the contributions of grandparents raising grandchildren and provide them with the resources and support they need,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Our bill would help change that by ensuring that grandfamilies have a safe, affordable, and age-appropriate place to call home, and receive the resources they need to navigate the complexities of raising a grandchild. I’m grateful to Congressman McGovern for his partnership on a bill to uplift our grandfamilies and affirm their right to thrive in community.”

The Grandfamily Housing Act would include funding to modify appropriate housing and fund residential coordinators to help grandparents address multiple issues in raising a grandchild. Specifically, the bill helps nonprofits and local housing authorities provide a safe living space for grandfamilies; helps housing providers employ a Grandfamily Resident Service Coordinator; builds a stable environment for grandchildren; and finances the upkeep of grandfamily housing and communal spaces.

McGovern and Pressley’s bill is endorsed by three major national advocacy groups that support grandparents raising grandchildren: The National Council on Aging, Generations United, and LeadingAge.

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