July 19, 2017
Guide includes nearly 90 programs and initiatives across City agencies designed to enrich the lives of older New Yorkers
NEW YORK—Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and DFTA today released Age-Friendly NYC: New Commitments For a City For All Ages at Sunnyside Community Services in Queens. The report presents a comprehensive guide of City programs and initiatives designed to enrich the lives of older New Yorkers. As the population of New York City grows older — with adults ages 60 and above projected to account for 20.6 percent of the City's population by 2040 — Age-Friendly NYC: New Commitments For a City For All Ages will help meet the demands of this demographic shift.
"New York would not be the city it is today without the invaluable contributions of our senior citizens – a debt we are paying down with programs to help them age in place," said Mayor de Blasio. "The initiatives outlined in Age-Friendly NYC will build on the progress we have made in meeting the needs of our growing community of older New Yorkers. By preserving or creating affordable housing, keeping rents down, investing in geriatric mental health, and through many more initiatives, we can truly make this a city for people of all ages."
The initiatives outlined in the report include existing programs of the de Blasio Administration that support the well-being of older adults, such as the Mayor's Housing New York plan, a five-borough, 10-year strategy, which includes a plan to create or preserve affordable housing for seniors; raising income eligibility limits for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase and the Disability Rent Increase Exemptions; and ThriveNYC programming at senior centers throughout the City that provide on-site counseling and help remove the stigma of mental health issues.
Age-Friendly NYC includes nearly 90 programs and initiatives across the spectrum of the City's agencies and community partners, including:
- Increasing baselined City funding for essential aging services by $84 million under the de Blasio Administration
- Expanding the City's senior housing commitment by 5,000 to 15,000 units of the 200,000 total units in the Mayor's Housing New York plan
- Providing universal access to civil justice and tenant legal services for New Yorkers who are facing eviction and have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level
- Focusing on geriatric mental health by embedding mental health practitioners in senior centers and addressing social isolation and depression faced by homebound older adults
- Creating multidisciplinary teams in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island as well as strengthening existing teams in Brooklyn and Manhattan in order to better serve elder abuse victims
- Implementing Vision Zero education and enforcement initiatives that focus on the safety of older New Yorkers
"Through 86 initiatives, Age Friendly NYC: New Commitments For a City For All Ages demonstrates our vision for our City: a place where older New Yorkers can thrive as they age: in good health, safe and secure in their homes, and able to enjoy all that New York City has to offer," said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. "With more people reaching and living beyond age 60 than ever before, it has become increasingly important to make sure this growing population has the supports and resources they need. When the City becomes fairer and more inclusive to seniors, we all benefit."
"I'm proud to lead the Department for the Aging's work with our sister agencies in support of older adults through Age-Friendly NYC," said DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado. "Seniors deserve our support as they age in place. They still have much to offer society, and they contribute greatly to New York's diverse communities."
"Thanks to initiatives like Age-Friendly NYC, our City has become a pioneer in comprehensive strategies that help our seniors, the fastest growing segment in New York City, age with dignity in the vibrant communities that they have helped build," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, Chair of the Committee on Aging. "Since we established the Age-Friendly Commission in 2010 to identify opportunities to enhance the City's livability for aging New Yorkers, we have seen the unprecedented creation of thousands of affordable senior housing units; increased safety and accessibility of parks, buildings and streets citywide; and better access to tenant legal services to prevent senior evictions. And now, after securing the largest increase in permanent senior services funding in over a decade, I am excited to continue our progress with Age-Friendly NYC and make every year the Year of the Senior."
"As our city grows older, we must remain focused on improving the lives of people of all ages," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "With the largest concentration of residents over 60 in the city, Queens is at the forefront of this demographic shift. Age-Friendly NYC will help support our elders age gracefully in their own neighborhoods and remain active and engaged in our communities."
"As our older population grows, it is more crucial than ever that we make this a truly age-friendly city – which is why my office has worked to provide seniors with easy access to healthy food, protect family caregivers from discrimination, and more," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "More than 1.5 million New Yorkers aged 60 or older live in Manhattan, and more than 125,000 of them live alone. This population deserves a city that remains accessible and welcoming as they age – in everything from how government services are delivered to how our streets, buildings, and public spaces are designed."
"The launch of the Age-Friendly NYC program will allow our great city to make the right investments in increasing the quality of life for all of our senior citizens," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. "I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio and his Administration for launching a wonderful program that prioritizes the interest and well-being of all of our seniors so they can continue to remain active in their later years."
"The New York Academy of Medicine, which is proud to serve as secretariat for Age-Friendly NYC, would like to congratulate Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City of New York on renewing its commitment to making the city work well—through public policies, services, resources and amenities—for people as they age. The City's critical new initiatives, including a Geriatrics Center of Excellence at Harlem Hospital; increasing municipal employment and volunteerism for older adults; safeguarding caregiver rights and increased access to green space, build upon the successful,10-year, Age-Friendly NYC/City of New York public-private partnership. Increasing attention to equity and the diversity of the growing population of older New Yorkers and new support from city agencies that had not previously been involved (such as the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services) will assure that Age-Friendly NYC has an even greater positive impact on the health and well-being of older New Yorkers," said Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, President of the Academy.
"Services that help meet the needs of the fast-growing population of older New Yorkers are increasingly important. AARP applauds the work of Age-Friendly NYC and the leadership of the de Blasio Administration for recognizing not only the significance of these services, but the importance of making them easily accessible to residents who need them," said AARP New York Associate State Director Chris Widelo.
"On behalf of the 1.5 million older New Yorkers and our members who serve them, LiveOn NY is very pleased that Mayor de Blasio and the City Council showed their commitment to and investment in older New Yorkers by recently adding $23 million in baselined funding to the Department for the Aging, truly making this the Year of the Senior. These funds will allow our member agencies to expand their services and meet needs within their communities. And yet we know there is still much work to be done to make New York City the best place to age. At LiveOn NY, we look forward to building a continued partnership with the City, under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado and City Council Aging Chair Margaret Chin, as we advocate for policies and budgets that truly make New York City a good place to grow old," said LiveOn NY Executive Director Allison Nickerson.
"While Sunnyside Community Services now serves people of all ages, we began as a place to help seniors age in place and in their communities. We salute the City and DFTA for ensuring that NYC becomes increasingly "age-friendly" as our older population continues to grow," said Sunnyside Community Services Executive Director Judy Zangwill.