Q: The Bronx has the fastest growing senior population in New York City. What initiatives does your office have to meet this growing population?
A: Our senior citizens are the backbone of this community and we understand that our senior population is not only growing but also thriving. We understand that we have to meet the needs of seniors and my constituent services staff stands on the front lines in the fight to protect our most vulnerable community. We hosted “Bronx Senior Month,” with local partners that supported the health and well-being of Bronx-area seniors. This
was a month-long senior celebration, which included health and wellness resource fairs and events to foster physical activity, social engagement and fun.
Q: Seniors have been having an increasingly difficult time finding affordable housing. What is your office doing to alleviate this growing problem?
A: We have programs such as our partnership with Phipps Neighborhood Services to provide financial counseling and credit repair services. Through my senior affairs unit, we are enrolling more and more individuals in the NYC Rent Freeze Program, keeping our elders in their homes at a more affordable rate. We are also providing housing for elderly musicians at the Bronx Music Heritage Center in Melrose. In Mott Haven, we teamed up with the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing to preserve low-income housing for seniors at Borinquen Court.
Q: What are some of your most serious concerns about New York City Seniors?
A: Housing is probably the biggest concern among New York City seniors. Affordable housing can be a problem for younger folks, but more so for our elderly population. Affordable healthcare is another issue that concerns our elderly population.
Q: Where can seniors find assistance with your organization and what services would you like seniors to know is available at your office?
One place to start is calling my Constituency Services Department, where they can best guide you through the resources that we have at our disposal. You can contact them at 718- 590-3554. You can also log onto our Web-site: Bronxboropres.nyc.gov/contact.html
-S. Eric Blackwell