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Affordable Senior Housing Plus Services in New York: Where Are We Now?

The growth of New York’s senior population will be unprecedented over the next 15 years. It has, therefore, been the long-held and very strong belief of LeadingAge NY that the state must make a substantial investment in new and existing senior housing that has the supportive services necessary to address the growing need for affordable rental apartments that will allow low income seniors to “age in place.”

To that end, we have been supportive of Affordable Senior Housing and Services Program legislation in New York that would provide low income seniors with access to basic supports in the community, allowing them to “age in place” and delay or prevent reliance on high-cost Medicaid services. At the end of the 2017 Legislative Session, we had a great victory when S.5141-B (Little) unanimously passed the Senate for the second time, thanks in no small part to the support provided for the bill by Senator Betty Little (45th Senate District). Unfortunately, the Assembly did not amend its bill to match edits by the Senate, and its version of the bill, A.6804 (Cymbrowitz), stalled in the Committee on Ways and Means.

This is not to say that we have not made progress, but we still have work to do. To continue to act on the momentum we have built so far, LeadingAge NY and Enterprise Community Partners have planned the Second Annual Symposium on Healthy Senior Housing for Oct. 19, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Albany Capital Center. The symposium will bring together groups of policymakers and thought leaders both in the fields of housing and health care to plan for how we may successfully prepare for the unprecedented challenges that we will face over the next 15 years of explosive growth of New York’s senior population.

The Symposium’s keynote speaker, Nancy Eldridge, is at the forefront of the movement to bring the Housing Plus Services model to communities throughout the United States. She is currently the Director of the National Well-Home Network, a new national movement designed to bring together, amplify, and expand the work of housing-based service models at affordable nonprofit organizations. Ms. Eldridge also worked for 16 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Cathedral Square Corporation, a Vermont-based nonprofit, where she increased the number of CSC’s affordable housing communities to 28 and expanded its focus to include the health of Vermont’s aging population. Additionally, Ms. Eldridge founded the Support and Services at Home (SASH) model, a team effort to help Medicare beneficiaries remain at home and get the services they need when they need them.

Please join us for what will certainly be an exciting and thought-provoking opportunity to discuss how the worlds of housing and health care may work together to support our state’s seniors. Registration will be open shortly, and any questions may be directed to Sara Neitzel.

Contact: Sara Neitzel, sneitzel@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8835