Immigrant Home Care Project
NVP’s current work is focusing on the growing need for Valley communities to create communities for a lifetime for all residents, including the increasing number of Valley immigrant Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents, and the disabled to enable residents to age in place.
The projected increase in the number of 65+ residents in the Greater Waterbury area between 2010-2025 is dramatic (from those 65+ being 13.4% of the population in 2010 to 19.5% in 2025). The Valley’s already significantly increased LEP immigrant elderly population is expected to grow much more rapidly than its native-born counterpart. According to the Administration on Aging, between 2008 and 2030, the white population 65+ is projected to increase by 64% compared with 172% for older minorities, including 224% for Hispanics.
Equally dramatic is the anticipated gap between those who need care to remain in their homes and those who will provide care, whether as family members, or more likely as paid homecare aides.
Within the state, the larger demographic trends and the need to address them have been recognized by the Commission on Aging, philanthropic and social service agencies, and especially by the Governor’s office and the Department of Social Services.
NVP is currently meeting with owners and managers of home care agencies to foster greater use of homecare services by immigrant families, who might otherwise rely on family caregivers. With the significant downturn in the economy this is more difficult and we see home care as a more prudent first choice for families than moving their loved ones into nursing homes.
In our meetings with agency leaders we seek to understand how they view this potential market and their efforts to reach out to them. We are interested in comparing notes on what we are learning about what immigrant families need from home care agencies for a successful client/provider relationship.
NVP’s Housing committee was formed after leaders noticed the same houses being sold over and over again after foreclosures. It took time and coaxing for the victims of the predatory real estate and mortgage companies to tell their story, but a pattern of unethical business practice began to emerge, as members were encouraged by their pastors and friends to speak up. It is a real estate system that feeds on those who face the greatest challenges in finding safe and affordable housing.
Often when families were looking for a rental unit they were convinced by realtors that they “qualified” for a home mortgage. They were told, “Why rent, when you can buy”, we will help you with the down payment”. Faced with mountains of paperwork in English, and assurances that "we'll fill in the blanks later", they are lured into predatory mortgages on substandard properties. When the homes crumble around them, so do their hope and their credit.
In our investigations, we found that some of the victims had perfectly good credit and could have applied for standard mortgages, but were steered away from local banks and reputable mortgage companies and put into less reputable companies. It's a neat “sub-prime” lending system - one that the Connecticut State Attorney General plans to shut down. Last November, NVP presented 45 cases to the State Attorney General, the Consumer Fraud Division and Banking Commissioners of the State of Connecticut, who filed a civil suit.