The New York Department for the Aging (DFTA), under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, on Wednesday launched Age-Friendly NYC: New Commitments For a City For All Ages, which serves as a guide of City programs and initiatives that are designed to enrich the lives of older New Yorkers.
As our population grows older — with adults age 60-plus 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. These initiatives include existing Administration Age-Friendly NYC programs such as the Mayor’s Housing New York five-borough, 10-year strategy, which includes a plan to create or preserve affordable housing for seniors; the raising of income levels to boost eligibility for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase and the Disability Rent Increase Exemptions; and the ThriveNYC Geriatric Mental Health Initiative at select DFTA-funded senior centers, helping to remove the stigma of mental health issues while providing on-site counseling.
Age-Friendly NYC includes nearly 90 programs and initiatives from 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
“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. Judy Zangwill, Executive Director of Sunnyside Community Services said, “We salute the City and DFTA for ensuring NYC becomes increasingly “age -friendly” as our older population continues to grow.”