John Fonfara

State Senator

John Fonfara

Deputy President Pro Tempore

February 3, 2015

Fonfara Joins Gov. Malloy to Propose Expansion of Elderly Renters’ Rebate Program

Proposal would provide up to 12,700 additional senior citizens with housing assistance

WETHERSFIELD, CT—State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy, state Department of Aging Commissioner Edith Prague and other state and local officials today to propose an increase of more than $6.5 million during the upcoming regular session of the General Assembly to expand Connecticut’s Elderly Renters’ Rebate Program.

“Whether you live in a city like Hartford or a small town such as Wethersfield, if you’re a senior citizen and struggling to pay your rent, the governor’s commitment to increasing the number of people who can qualify for this program will be of great help,” said Senator Fonfara.

“Connecticut’s senior population is already one of the largest in the country and continues to grow—something we need to take into account when we make strategic decisions about the future of our state,” said Governor Malloy. “We are taking the necessary steps now to ensure we can support the growing needs of our elderly residents, which includes giving seniors the right amount of support and access to a living situation that is safe, decent and affordable.”

Governor Malloy continued, “There are already around 40,000 residents benefiting from the Elderly Renters’ Rebate program annually. This expansion—an increase of more than 30 percent—will help thousands of additional senior citizens stay in their communities.”

In existence since 1974, the Elderly Renters’ Rebate Program provides direct, partial reimbursement to lower income elderly or 100 percent disabled renters to help offset a portion of their rent and utility expenses. The program, administered by the Office of Policy and Management, provides for payments ranging from $50 to $900 for qualifying married persons, and $50 to $700 for qualifying single persons. The rebate amount is based on a graduated income scale and the amount of rent and utility payments (excluding telephone) made in the calendar year prior to the year in which the renter applies. In order to qualify, married persons must have an annual income not greater than $41,600, and single persons must have an annual income not greater than $34,100.

Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation that closed the Elderly Renters’ Rebate Program to any new applicants as of April 1, 2013 or previous applicants who did not receive a grant for calendar year 2011. Governor Malloy’s proposal would re-open the program to new applicants, allowing an additional 12,700 senior citizens to apply for the rebate.

“We know that the demand for programs that serve our seniors will increase dramatically in the coming years and I am committed to preparing the state to meet this demand,” said Commissioner Prague. “The Rebate Program helps some of our most vulnerable citizens—lower income elderly and disabled persons who rent. This expansion will help so many more senior citizens live with dignity and independence.”

Eligible persons may apply between April 1 and October 1 each year at either their town Assessor’s Office or social service agency, depending on the town. Questions about the program and payments should be directed to the Renter’s Rebate Hotline at 860-418-6377.