New Yorkers 60 and older make up 18% of the City’s population and will account for more than 20% by 2040. They overwhelmingly wish to remain in their City. Under Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Council has taken a number of steps to make it easier for New Yorkers to age in their homes and communities safely, comfortably, and with dignity.
In response to the spread of unregulated social adult day care programs providing inadequate services and exploiting vulnerable seniors, the Council passed legislation to bring accountability and transparency to these programs. We required that they register with the City and follow proper standards, and provided New Yorkers an opportunity to bring complaints about improper practices. Over 200 programs across the five boroughs have registered with the Department for the Aging (DFTA).
Affordable housing is one of the most significant challenges facing older adults and people with disabilities. In 2014, the Council increased the income limits to qualify for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs, which protect individuals from unaffordable rent increases and allow them to remain in their homes. As a result, an additional 10,317 senior households and 3,086 households led by persons with disabilities are eligible for this benefit.
New Yorkers overwhelmingly express the desire to age-in-place. However, many face increased safety risks within their homes that make it difficult to remain. This is why the Council passed legislation creating a guide for landlords that will assist them in making age-friendly modifications and improvements to apartments to help keep older tenants safe.
Adult Protective Services (APS) provides adults with mental and physical impairments, 62% of whom are 60 and older, with the supports and services necessary to live safely in their homes. In 2015, the Council passed legislation that will make it easier to identify and refer individuals who may benefit from APS by collecting better data on referrals to APS and providing training to employees of agencies such as the New York City Police Department, the Department for the Aging, and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Thousands of older New Yorkers suffer from elder abuse, often without access to the help needed. To address this issue, the Council advocated for an unprecedented $2.8 million in baseline funding for citywide elder abuse services.