While numerous city, state, and federal programs help seniors find and maintain affordable housing, and local investments have been made recently in new senior-focused affordable housing, the long waiting lists for these programs indicate that the demand for affordable, senior-accessible units far exceeds their supply. For instance, LiveOn NY has analyzed waiting lists in each City Council District and found that over 200,000 seniors wait an average of seven years for an apartment in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program.  Similarly, according to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the backlog for HUD’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is so long that new applications have not been accepted since December 2009.  In addition, the waiting list for NYCHA apartments is approximately 270,000, meaning that it is very unlikely that a senior in need of affordable housing will get a NYCHA unit, let alone one of the NYCHA units that is specifically for seniors. 
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As the history blog The Hatching Cat recounts, what Gottlieb didn’t know was that the neighborhood was also home to plenty of feral cats with voracious appetites. As Gottlieb made his way around the neighborhood, a handful of stray cats seized upon some leaves that had fallen out of his basket and began writhing and rolling around on the ground. Soon, even more kitties joined in, and “jumped up at his baskets, rubbed themselves against his legs, mewing, purring, and saying complimentary things about him,” according to an August 19, 1909 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch .