Seniors in affordable housing vulnerable to coronavirus

Davetta Brooks lives in a building for low-income seniors on Chicago's Near West Side. Residents are not wearing masks or gloves to guard against the coronavirus, she said: "They're touching everything on the elevator, in the laundry room. And anybody and everybody's relatives and friends are coming in and out with no scrutiny."

(Kaiser Health News)Davetta Brooks, 75, who has heart failure, a fractured hip and macular degeneration, is afraid. Conditions in her low-income senior building on Chicago's Near West Side — the Congressman George W. Collins Apartments — are "deplorable," she said.

Residents are not wearing masks or gloves to guard against the coronavirus, she said: "They're touching everything on the elevator, in the laundry room. And anybody and everybody's relatives and friends are coming in and out with no scrutiny."
No one is checking on residents to see if they need help, Brooks said. And no one seems to know whether residents have tested positive for Covid-19 or died, though ambulances have screeched up to the entrance several times.
    "This building is not safe," she said in mid-June. "With all the things happening in the US, this is what 'seniors lives don't matter' looks like."
      Nationwide, more than 1.6 million older adults live in low-income housing subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development — most in apartment buildings with shared common spaces, elevators, staircases, mailrooms, hallways and laundry rooms where the coronavirus might lurk.