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AARP Virginia finds voters support Medicaid expansion

The AARP Virginia State Office commissioned a survey of 800 registered voters age 50 and older in Virginia on several issues that have come up during this year’s state elections: Medicaid expansion, long-term care, electric utilities, consumer loans and housing discrimination.

A slim majority of voters (54 percent) over age 50 support expanding Medicaid to adults who don’t have children and who have incomes under $15,000 per year. About 31 percent of those surveyed oppose the Medicaid expansion, and the remainder said they weren’t sure or are indifferent on the issue.

About 44 percent said they would be more likely to support a candidate who favored the expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, while 16 percent said they would be less likely to support a candidate who favored the expansion.

On other political topics, the AARP Virginia survey found that:

• 69 percent of Virginia registered voters age 50 and older support dedicating a larger proportion of Medicaid long-term care funds to home and community-based care and a smaller proportion to institutional care.

• 65 percent of Virginia registered voters age 50 and older oppose making time-of-use rate plans mandatory for electric utility consumers.

• 48 percent of Virginia registered voters age 50 and older support prohibiting lenders of “open-ended” loans from charging interest rates above 36 percent.

• 67 percent of Virginia registered voters age 50 and older say that landlords should not be allowed to refuse to rent to people whose main source of income comes from Social Security or vouchers from state or federal government.

The results are based on a telephone survey fielded June 25 to June 29. According to AARP Virginia, the data are weighted to reflect the age and gender of the population of registered voters age 50 and older in Virginia.

Federal grant to cover costs of AP tests for low-income students

The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is providing more than $28 million in grants to 42 states, including Virginia, to help cover the testing fees for low-income students wishing to take Advanced Placement tests.

The grants are expected to cover all but $10 of each student’s testing fee. The balance can be funded by the state or by the student.

Virginia received more than $400,000 for the program,

County receives funding for housing program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded funding to Fairfax County earlier this summer through the 2012 Continuum of Care Program competition.

In this round, the Fairfax County CoC was awarded $287,359 for a new housing project and $34,510 for planning activities. Fairfax County was among a select group of communities that received funding for a bonus project.

The new project’s sponsor is the Fairfax-based nonprofit FACETS, which will be providing permanent supportive housing to 18 chronically homeless individuals.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to expand our permanent supportive housing program and focus on housing 18 people from the 100,000 Homes Campaign,” said Executive Director Amanda Andere in a released statement.

The 100,000 Homes Campaign is an initiative launched locally earlier this year that aims to house chronically homeless individuals.