Councilmembers Paul Vallone (chair, Subcommittee on Senior Centers), Margaret Chin and Julissa Ferreras held a joint hearing of the Aging and Finance Committees on their response to the mayor’s Fiscal Year 2015 Executive Budget. This year’s budget totals $259.7 million with hard-fought for increases for case management, meal reimbursement and funding for new Innovative Senior Centers. Vallone joined his fellow councilmembers in expressing cautious optimism with concerns for critical areas that are not included. The reality of today’s aging population – that every eight seconds another New Yorker turns 65 – is not reflected in this year’s budget. Some of the concerns focused on include the following: additional funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), increasing funding to senior centers to reflect today’s increased operating costs, increasing funding to fight elder abuse, expanding the definition of senior centers, expanding services necessary for family members that care for our seniors and fighting the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) proposal to close 38 NYCHA-run centers.
Vallone stated, “As chair of the Subcommittee on Senior Centers, I believe the city has taken the necessary first step to restore critical funding to a previously devastated agency. It is the council’s hope during budget negotiations, to expand and increase these critical services provided to our ever expanding senior population.”
See full story at Queens Gazette.