CHINATOWN – Today, Council Member Margaret S. Chin joined Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado, and hundreds of seniors at Project Open Door Senior Center in Chinatown to celebrate a record $22.89 million in senior funding and to discuss citywide initiatives aimed at creating a more age-friendly New York City.


“Our seniors deserve more. That is why I worked with my Council colleagues and senior advocates this year to secure the largest increase in permanent senior funding in over a decade,” said Council Member Chin, who chairs the Council’s Committee on Aging. “With $10 million allocated to senior centers, places like Project Open Door can continue to invest in the resources they need to deliver high-quality, culturally-competent programs and services to elderly New Yorkers. I am proud of this budget victory, which gets us closer to realizing our goal of a more ‘Age Friendly’ NYC, and I look forward to ensuring that every year will be ‘Year of the Senior.’”


Council Member Chin held today’s celebration at Project Open Door Senior Center in her Council District. Offering senior art shows, a music room, and a wealth of Chinese cultural and recreational activities, Project Open Door Senior Center is more than just a senior center – it’s a home away from home for hundreds of aging New Yorkers in Chinatown.


“Open Door Senior Center is a wonderful example of how senior centers serve and enrich diverse communities,” said DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado. “The center’s programs and activities are tailored to seniors whose first language is predominantly Chinese, and the seniors think of this center as their second home. The $22.89 million increase in the FY18 budget for senior services will enable us to invest in our senior centers and enhance the wonderful work that they are already doing.”


“The de Blasio administration’s increased funding for programs for seniors in this year’s budget, along with the release of Age Friendly NYC: New Commitments For a City For All Ages, together demonstrate our vision— a city 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. “Many thanks to Council Aging Committee chair Margaret Chin for her tireless efforts to work with the administration to make 2017 the Year of the Senior, and to Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado for her continued service and leadership. 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 support and resources they need. When the City becomes fairer and more inclusive to seniors, we all benefit.”


This year, Council Member Chin led the “Year of the Senior” effort to dramatically increase senior funding. In June, the City passed the largest increase in permanent funding for senior services in over a decade to enhance and expand senior services, provide resources for right-sized senior centers, and eliminate waitlists for homecare and case management.


This funding is a vital part of Age-Friendly NYC, a citywide initiative launched in 2008 to engage the public, nonprofit and private sectors to pioneer comprehensive strategies that help seniors age with dignity. This year, Age-Friendly NYC’s list of accomplishments included the creation of thousands of affordable senior housing units, more outreach for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE), increasing safety and accessibility in our neighborhoods, and universal access to legal services to help low-income seniors fight evictions.


“The Chinese-American Planning Council would like to thank Deputy Mayor Buery, Council Member Chin, and DFTA Commissioner Corrado for visiting Open Door Senior Center in order to celebrate the increased funding for senior services in the FY18 budget,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council. “Asian American seniors have one of the highest poverty rates of any population in New York City, so the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate services continues to grow. The $23 million baselined for senior services will help to ensure that seniors can age and remain engaged in their communities. I would like to thank Po-Ling Ng, Associate Executive Director and Director of Senior Services, for being such a strong advocate for our community. We look forward to working with the Mayoral Administration and City Council to determine how to ensure these increased resources reach the most underserved seniors.”