Executive Order Designed to Systematically Incorporate Population Health Needs, Domains of Livability, and Smart Growth Principles into the Policies of All State Government Entities to Improve Health and Well-Being of New Yorkers Across the Lifespan
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an executive orderthat directs state agencies to include New York State Prevention Agenda priorities and the AARP/World Health Organization eight domains of livability for age-friendly communities, where appropriate, into federal and state plans, and agency policies, procedures, and procurements.
"New York is committed to creating thriving communities that support and attract people of all ages, and this executive order will continue to maximize our efforts as the first age-friendly state in the country," Governor Cuomo said. "Incorporating age-friendly smart growth principles into the fabric of state government will support community development and improve the health and quality of life of all New Yorkers."
"Here in New York, we are proud of how we invest in New Yorkers at every stage of life," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our commitment to older adults is unprecedented, and as more and more people live longer, fuller lives it becomes increasingly essential to ensure their needs are met and that they're active in their communities. As the nation's first age-friendly state, we are committed to incorporating health needs and smart growth initiatives among all State agencies to ensure all New Yorkers lead their best lives."
The executive order further promotes the Governor's Health Across All Policies approach, which directs diverse state agencies to work together to improve population health, promote healthy aging, and assist localities in planning and implementing elements to create age-friendly communities.
Under Governor's Cuomo's leadership, New York was declared the first age-friendly state in the nation in 2017 by AARP and the World Health Organization.
The goal of incorporating age-friendly concepts into government contracting and procurement opportunities is to create and foster healthier, more integrated communities that allow New Yorkers of all ages to easily receive services, take part in, and move around their community. Targeted actions and investments consider or provide preference to age-friendly concepts, which include supporting healthy aging and aging in place, and supporting new business and procurement models for areas such as housing, construction, and information technology. These are achieved through system level changes, such as offering incentives for age-friendly concepts, establishing new procurement guidelines and financing models, or implementing regulatory changes.
Since 2011, Governor Cuomo has worked to make New York State more livable, sustainable and equitable for people of all ages. Over the past seven years, New York has become a national leader in creating clean, livable, and sustainable communities by pioneering multi-faceted programs that support aging in place, coupled with an unparalleled suite of smart growth reforms that directly support the eight domains of livability:
- Since signing the Complete Streets Act in 2011, 12 counties and more than 100 villages, towns, and cities have adopted Complete Streets policies to consider the safe, convenient access and mobility of all roadway users of all ages and abilities.
- Through the Livable NY initiative, the state has been working with municipalities to provide technical assistance for planning decisions around livability.
- As part of the Governor's landmark affordable housing plan, New York State will invest $125 million to develop or rehabilitate affordable housing targeted to low-income older New Yorkers, aged 60 and above.
- As part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New York State has awarded $300 million to 30 downtown areas to date, prioritizing awards to municipalities that have age-friendly policies in place.
- In 2017, the New York State Office for the Aging created the nation's first statewide aging services mobile app to connect older adults and caregivers with easily accessible material about benefits, programs, and services, including information regarding health and wellness, housing, and transportation options.
- Since signing the NYS Land Banks Act in 2011, New York State has created 25 land banks and is now a leader in fighting blight, vacancy and abandonment in underserved and distressed communities.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "Communities that understand and adopt age-friendly, smart growth principles thrive by attracting new residents to New York and retaining others, including the growing older adult population. Older New Yorkers are a vital part of their communities, contributing economically, socially, and intellectually through volunteerism, civic engagement, employment, and tourism. I applaud Governor Cuomo for leading by example in developing a comprehensive approach to incorporate age-friendly principles in the day-to-day work of state agencies."
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, "This Executive Order promotes the collaborative approach of Health Across All Policies begun in 2017 when New York became the first Age Friendly State in the nation. Integrating health considerations into policymaking across all sectors will help to improve the health of our communities by recognizing that our greatest health challenges are complex and often linked with other societal issues that extend beyond healthcare and traditional public health activities."
New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "New York State has become a worldwide leader in healthy, age-friendly communities by becoming the first Age-Friendly State in the nation. This Executive Order ensures that the principles of healthy communities will be firmly embedded in state policy and programs. The Department of State is proud to have advanced these principles as part of its planning and local government programs, and we look forward to expanding on that commitment through the Governor's bold and innovative directive."
Senator Sue Serino, Chair of the New York State Senate Aging Committee said, "As the Aging Chair, my goal has long been to ensure that our seniors have the resources they need to age in place, at home in their communities, with dignity. This initiative is a step in the right direction when it comes to empowering older New Yorkers. I thank the Executive for recognizing the need to improve services, promote healthy aging, and assist communities across the state in effectively planning and implementing steps to ensure age-friendly communities. It is my hope that this progress sets the stage for an increased commitment to our seniors in next year's state budget."
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of Assembly Committee on Aging said, "Incorporating age-friendly policies into community planning across the state will help improve the quality of life for people of all ages. Many communities, such as my own in Broome County, are already working towards becoming healthier and more livable. I'm looking forward to working the Governor and my colleagues to ensure resources are made available to help ensure these important plans are successful."
Jeff Kraut, Chairman of the NYS Public Health and Health Planning Council, said, "The NYS Public Health and Health Planning Council, through its support of the Prevention Agenda, has been committed to assuring that NYS becomes the healthiest state for people of all ages. We applaud the Governor's executive order which will give important support to communities across the state working to improve the health of all New Yorkers.
Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS, President, The New York Academy of Medicine, said, "The Academy applauds the Governor's continued commitment to health-promoting policies for people of all ages. Directing state agencies to leverage their existing structures and systems to address the Prevention Agenda Priorities and the Eight Domains of an Age-friendly City will go a long way toward keeping people active and engaged throughout their lives, reducing age discrimination, and contributing to economic growth. We are honored to partner with the Governor to implement this visionary public/private approach to improve population health and wellbeing across the State."
AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said, "The Governor's executive order will ensure that creating a more age-friendly New York becomes part of all state agencies' planning and action, prompting an ongoing rethinking of how all of our communities are structured for the benefit of New Yorkers of every age. This is a great step forward and it builds on the Governor's action last year committing New York to become the first state to join the AARP-World Health Organization Network of Age Friendly Communities and States. Improvements across the state and across all agencies - such as developing new and renovated homes to accommodate people of all life stages and ensuring affordable community health services - will make New York an even more attractive place to live for all generations."