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Senior Housing Capital and Services Program Bill Introduced

The Senate’s version of the 2017-18 state budget includes language that would create the Affordable Senior Housing and Services Program, which would provide a dedicated source of capital for the development of affordable senior housing through NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). It would also create a source of funding for “healthy aging services” that would provide developers and operators a secure source of funding for resident service coordinators.

This initiative was included in the Senate’s budget after extensive advocacy by LeadingAge NY. Senior housing and supportive services has been a priority advocacy objective for LeadingAge NY for several years. LeadingAge NY organized a Symposium on Healthy Senior Housing in December 2016 which highlighted the importance of resident service coordinators in senior housing. Service coordinators have proven effective in reducing health care spending by helping residents to avoid premature entry into more costly nursing homes and inappropriate use of emergency departments for routine health care.

The language included in the budget matches a separate bill (S.5141) that was introduced last week by Senator Betty Little (R-Glens Falls), chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development. It was successfully reported out of committee on Wed., March 15th, and now heads to the full Senate. An Assembly companion is expected to be introduced shortly. The new program language was proposed and drafted by LeadingAge NY and a coalition of senior housing organizations and advocates. The provision appears in section EE of the Senate’s ELFA (Education, Labor and Family Assistance) Article VII language bill.

Contact: John Broderick, jbroderick@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8835