New York’s retirement communities to see more benefits

NORC York!

New York seniors – a rapidly growing population in the state – will be seeing more benefits for their buck thanks to restored Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) and Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NNORC) funding from the state earlier this month.

The $2 million in additional funding, coupled with the $951,000 that was renewed from the previous fiscal year, will go toward expanding important community-based programs for seniors living in NORC communities — a number that research is showing will likely double by 2030.

“New York State’s senior population is growing rapidly and seniors are living longer in the community,” said Assemblymember and Chair of the Committee on Aging Steven Cymbrowitz, who represents portions of southern Brooklyn, and who announced the funding alongside New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “My Assembly colleagues and I believe strongly that this is not the time to cut funding from our aging population but to instead support every effort to keep seniors in their homes and as independent as possible.”

According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics, “we live in a time of unprecedented growth in the nations’ older adult population,” Barbara Joyce Bedney, Ph.D., M.S.W., writes in a research report for NORC’s website. “In 2006, 37 million people age 65 and over lived in the United States, accounting for just over 12 percent of the total population. By 2030, that number will likely double, and grow to 71.5 million. At that point, older adults will represent nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population.”

“Seniors are a vital part of New York communities,” added Heastie. “That means we need to make sure they have the support they need to stay in their homes and communities, not pull resources and funding out from under them. The Assembly will not shortchange our aging community. We remain committed to supporting senior communities across New York State.”

In New York specifically, in 1994, the state legislature determined that older populations and seniors living in apartment complexes had an increased need for supportive services. Since then, two NORC programs have been aiding the senior population and providing important services: The Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Supportive Service Program (NORC-SSP) provides services to older people living in a building complex or complexes while the Neighborhood NORC (NNORC) provides similar services to older persons living in a residential area consisting of single family homes and buildings not more than six stories high, according to New York State’s Office for the Aging.

The Assembly’s SFY 2016-17 budget proposal, while restoring $118,000 in funding for items that were eliminated from the Executive Budget, will also include $86,000 for the Foundation for Senior Citizen Home Sharing and Respite and $32,000 for the Statewide Senior Action Council.

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