AHEPA Senior Living Residents Advocate for the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a critical initiative launched in December 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, has become a lifeline for millions of Americans, especially older Americans. Today, internet availability is a necessity, not a luxury. And the ACP’s role in discounting internet access by up to $30 a month to low-income households is vital. Here, we’ll aim to highlight the necessity of the ACP for older Americans, underscore AHEPA Senior Living’s (ASL) dedication to senior wellness across America and illustrate ASL’s commitment to fostering community engagement among seniors.


The Importance of the Affordable Connectivity Program for Seniors

For many older Americans, the internet is more than a platform for information and entertainment – it’s a vital connection to the outside world. For example, nearly half of the residents in the AHEPA 35 Senior Manor, Nashua, New Hampshire, community rely on the ACP for internet access, without which they would face increased isolation and a significant reduction in their quality of life.

An ASL Service Coordinator who serves the Iowa communities shared that a local company offers a plan for customers who qualify for the ACP for $30 per month. When the ACP discount is applied, they receive free internet.

From using YouTube for educational and entertainment purposes to using virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to connect with family members or call for emergency assistance to listening to audiobooks for those residents who are visually impaired, the importance of the internet to older Americans cannot be overstated.

Residents from across ASL communities have reached out with their testimonials on why this program is so critical to their overall well-being. These testimonials include examples of finding critical medical devices at reasonable prices, reducing social isolation, and increasing feelings of independence and safety.

The ACP program has allowed me to order stockings online and save $30 a month. The stockings I purchase are well over $200 a month. They are necessary for my health, and the $30 monthly credit for internet use was a big help. The benefit has allowed me to be on Zoom to see and socialize with friends I’m unable to physically visit.”

– A resident of AHEPA 78 Apartments, Merrillville, Indiana

The ACP has been a game-changer for ASL’s residents, enabling them to stay in touch with family members in different states. For older Americans, the internet has become a critical tool for maintaining relationships and accessing vital services.

Recently, one resident who struggled every month to pay for their internet, which helped talk to their grandchildren, emphasized the program. The ACP was necessary because they wanted to see their grandchildren who live in another state grow up. I connected this resident to the ACP program, and now, this resident does not have to worry about paying an internet bill. This was all because I could sign them up for the ACP program.

– A service coordinator, AHEPA 310 Phases V, VI, and VII, Mobile, Alabama

Thanks to ACP, this worry was alleviated.


Bipartisan Support and Legislative Action

The ACP enjoys bipartisan support, evidenced by the January 2024 introduction of the ACP Extension Act, backed by lawmakers like Senator Peter Welch and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. This bill, detailed on both Welch and Clarke’s official websites, seeks to provide an additional $7 billion in funding to the ACP. The urgency of this extension is due to the projected exhaustion of the ACP funds by April 2024. Introducing this act is crucial in ensuring the continuation of internet services to over 22.5 million households, including many older Americans.

This bipartisan effort reflects a national acknowledgment of the ACP’s value, transcending political divisions. The widespread support is echoed by the involvement of elected officials from various states, specifically those with high ACP enrollment rates. Such legislative action is vital in sustaining a program that has proven to be a crucial tool for seniors to stay connected and access necessary services.


Community Engagement and Advocacy

Residents and staff at ASL have actively demonstrated their commitment to advocacy, particularly in the ACP. This involvement is an outstanding example of ASL’s encouragement for older Americans to engage in their communities. Many of ASL’s residents drafted and signed a letter to Congressman Joe Courtney, and due to their involvement, Courtney invited them to participate in a press conference.

Courtney’s Office said, “It was a very impactful event, with Sam, Debbe, and residents attending making all the difference. Sam’s and Debbe’s remarks very much underscored the importance of the ACP.”

Such activities support vital causes like the ACP and foster a sense of purpose and connection among older Americans, further enhancing their overall well-being.

Additionally, residents’ engagement extends beyond their letter-writing campaigns. Through information sessions and assistance in applying for the ACP, ASL empowers its residents to take advantage of this critical resource. One of the initial senior communities to incorporate the ACP when the program was piloted was an AHEPA community in Haverhill, Massachusetts. LeadingAge, the leading association of mission-driven providers of aging services for older Americans, profiled that success story.

Having access to the Affordable Connectivity Program since June 6, 2022, has been a gift for many residents at AHEPA 39 Apartments. Some residents did not have access due to the cost of internet services. ACP’s funding and reduced price allowed the residents to learn new skills that helped them connect with family, shop online, explore, and learn as well as other online interests.  Access opened up so much for seniors who are on fixed incomes. Ending the discount that this program offers will mean many if not most, who are enjoying it now will not be able to afford to continue. At this stage of their lives, seniors tend to be shut in more, experiencing more profound depression and loneliness as well as increased mental health issues. Ending the Affordable Connectivity Program will hurt this more vulnerable population.

– A service coordinator, AHEPA 39 Apartments, Haverhill, Massachusetts

This proactive approach reflects ASL’s broader commitment to fostering civic responsibility and community involvement, embodying the ethos that engagement in societal issues is integral to the wellness and enrichment of senior life.



The Affordable Connectivity Program is more than a policy for many older Americans. It’s a vital connection to the world, helping maintain social connections with loved ones and enabling access to essential services. AHEPA Senior Living’s active participation in advocating for the ACP’s extension demonstrates its commitment to the well-being and engagement of older Americans in the community.