Recently, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer called on the City to launch an agency-by-agency, neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach to serving its seniors. Unveiling a new a report – entitled “Aging with Dignity: A Blueprint for Serving NYC’s Growing Senior Population”
Currently, New York City’s seniors face affordability, transit, housing and other obstacles. As the City’s population ages, so too does the urgency for holistic planning:
- By 2040, city planners expect there will be 1.4 million older adults living in New York City – an increase of hundreds of thousands of people from today.
- Over 40 percent of senior-headed households depend on government programs for more than half their income
- Six out of 10 senior renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent – a significantly higher percentage than the general population.
Despite widespread documentation of these challenges, the City is not engaged in a comprehensive planning process for it seniors. As such, today, the Comptroller called for a cohesive, long-term planning process from the City in order to streamline services and develop a holistic strategy.
Some Solutions Proposed by Scott Stringer
- Freezing rents by automatically enrolling New Yorkers in the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE): Additional senior renters can more easily remain in their apartments if they are automatically enrolled in the (SCRIE) program, which freezes their rent.
- Limiting affordability challenges by expanding tax credits through the Senior Citizens Homeowners’ Exemption:To support seniors who own their homes, the City should expand eligibility for the program to cover those with incomes up to $50,000. That would make approximately 29,000 more homeowners eligible for the program and mitigate affordability challenges.
- Creating tailored, neighborhood action plans by expanding the Age-Friendly Neighborhoods program: In 2010, the City launched the “Age-Friendly Neighborhoods” program, which created neighborhood action plans for over a dozen neighborhoods to better support seniors. To do long-term planning, that program should be expanded significantly so communities can pinpoint their needs in a local way.
Scott Stringer- (212) 669-3916
Office: One Centre Street, New York, NY 10007