October 5, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces $149 Million In Direct Community Support Distributed To Aging New Yorkers During The Pandemic

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Governor Hochul Announces $149 Million In Direct Community Support Distributed To Aging New Yorkers During The Pandemic
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Funding Critical to Helping Older New Yorkers Meet Basic Needs, Remain in Their Homes and Communities, and Slow Spread of COVID-19

 

Hochul Administration Leading National Effort to Modernize Older Americans Act and Expand Federal Investments that Support Cost-Effective Services For Aging Population

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that about $149 million in federal aid has been distributed to counties statewide to help older New Yorkers meet basic needs, remain in their homes and communities, slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and get vaccinated.

The decision comes in recognition of the enormous economic and social contributions that older adults make to our communities and families. This support funding exemplifies New York's distinction as the first age-friendly state in the nation, as designated by the World Health Organization and AARP.

"Our older community is in desperate need of support, and using federal stimulus funds will strengthen our aging services network, and extend support for those who need it," Governor Hochul said. "Many essential services will continue operating—food and medication delivery, transportation, combatting social isolation, and stopping elder abuse and financial exploitation, all while supporting the family members who care for older adults so they can return to work. These needs will continue to persist and grow well beyond the pandemic, but my administration will work tirelessly to provide for our aging population."

Below are the stimulus funding amounts for New York's aging service network, delineated by Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) region:

REDC Region

Stimulus Funds Delivered

Western New York

Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara

$11,488,696

Finger Lakes

Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates

$8,917,053

Southern Tier

Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins

$5,401,414

Central New York

Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego

$5,563,927

Mohawk Valley

Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie

$4,355,631

North Country

Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence

$4,259,349

Capital District

Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington

$7,136,560

Hudson Valley

Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester

$15,237,162

New York City

$69,492,838

Long Island

Nassau, Suffolk

$17,617,519

Governor Hochul is also working to build on these federal stimulus investments, recognizing that assistance to older individuals and their family caregivers helps maintain their economic and social contributions in the community. New York is leading a $2.7 billion national effort to modernize the Older Americans Act, which is the federal structure of funding and regulations governing state and local aging services programs. 

Under the Older Americans Act, New York's aging services programs are primarily funded by state and county dollars that account for 85 percent of program costs, compared to a federal contribution of 15 percent. While this federal share has increased significantly under the American Rescue Plan, Governor Hochul is calling for sustained funding to meet the network's growing responsibilities as the population of older adults increases.

The Governor's plan would bring an additional $175 million to New York. The OAA modernization effort will also update antiquated parts of the Act, address lessons learned from the pandemic, and expand and innovate service delivery.

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) works in partnership with a network of 59 Area Agencies on Aging that provide vital support services in every county, including home-delivered or congregate meals, nutrition counseling and education, respite, legal services, personal care, case management, transportation, health insurance counseling, advocacy resources for residents of long-term care facilities, and more. The network includes 1,176 contractors, 777 senior centers, 819 congregate meal sites, 315 central kitchens and 2,057 home-delivered meal routes.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, "While the pandemic has altered every facet of life in New York, it has had a particularly profound effect on the lives of older New Yorkers, taking too many from us and leaving many unable to meet basic needs, in fear that they may lose their homes and isolated from their communities. When I led the American Rescue Plan to passage in the Senate, I specifically fought for flexibility in state-allocated provisions so New York could address issues that have been amplified as a result of the COVID pandemic, especially for our most vulnerable residents like seniors. We must continue to support our older New Yorkers as we recover from the pandemic, and I'm pleased to work with Governor Hochul to deliver assistance for our residents who need it most."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Throughout the pandemic, I worked diligently to prioritize nutrition programs and vaccine support for homebound and socially isolated older adults. I’m proud to have secured $1.4 billion in funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA) programs in the American Rescue Plan, including $750 million for OAA Title III-C Nutrition Services, which support the delivery of nutritious meals to older adults throughout New York. OAA service providers have been longstanding, trusted sources of information and referrals for older adults and their caregivers. This network and the partnerships that exist are critically important as state and local entities continue their efforts to get shots in arms. Now, Aging Network providers will have the federal resources they need to achieve widespread vaccination of older adults.”

Representative Joe Morelle said, "Every single New Yorker deserves the opportunity to age with dignity within the comfort of their own home and their own community. I'm proud to have helped deliver this funding to support the changing needs of families of all ages and abilities, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her tireless work to champion older adults and look forward to our continued partnership to equip our aging population with the resources they need to thrive."

Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “We have a moral obligation to take care of our seniors – and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they need our support more now than ever before. This much needed funding will serve as a lifeline to help older New Yorkers meet the most basic of needs – ensuring that they are able to remain safe and at home and remain protected from COVID-19. Governor Hochul’s plan is a critical step that will ensure all of our communities in New York City and all of New York State, can rebuild from this crisis and remain on the road to recovery.”

Representative Mondaire Jones said, "I'm proud to have helped secure this funding as part of the American Rescue Plan, and I applaud the Hochul Administration for putting it to good use for our communities. Our seniors are vital members of our communities and we have a moral obligation to ensure they can live in dignity. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding is critical to protecting the health, safety, and prosperity of seniors in Westchester, Rockland, and throughout New York."

Representative Jamaal Bowman said, “As someone who represents a district with a high concentration of seniors, I cannot underscore enough how important it is for us to ensure seniors are not left behind. The spread of COVID-19, the isolation it forced people into, and its economic impacts have been devastating for seniors in NY-16 and across the state. I’m incredibly grateful that Governor Hochul understands the importance of investing in care and economic security for older New Yorkers, and I look forward to working with her and other state and local officials on more efforts to save lives and build a more compassionate society.”

NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen said, "The pandemic revealed to the nation how vitally important the aging network is in providing services, slowing the spread of the virus, keeping people safe and saving lives. We have almost 50 years of experience in working with older adults to get them benefits they deserve, find jobs, stay healthy, and provide services that keep them where they want to be - in their homes and communities of choice - for an average service cost per-person of under $10,000 per year. We all must play our part to combat ageism and stereotypes and recognize how valuable this population is. The Governor's leadership is the reason our network is so successful, and I am so proud of their role, particularly during the pandemic response, for continuing to innovate and work hard meeting needs during a difficult time."

AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said, "Virtually all older adults want to remain in their homes and communities, and keeping them healthy and safe is paramount. AARP New York thanks Governor Hochul for ensuring this federal aid is helping older New Yorkers around the State, and continuing to make New York - the first State to join the AARP/World Health Organization Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities back in 2017 - livable for all ages."

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, "Nobody has paid a higher price to the COVID-19 pandemic than older New Yorkers, both in loss of life and in disruption to services that help seniors live with dignity. Throughout the pandemic, county Offices for the Aging were on the front lines, ensuring older New Yorkers continued to have access to food and assisting with COVID vaccination initiatives, just to name a few.  We thank Governor Hochul for distributing this funding as this is critical to supporting the essential frontline work that counties do to support older New Yorkers and their families and help us work together—counties, the state, and our local community service agencies—to help keep our seniors safe and healthy." 

Association on Aging in New York (AANYS) Executive Director Becky Preve said: "The Association on Aging in New York applauds the necessary and substantial investments in aging services that these funds provided. The network of 59 Area Agencies on Aging are vital to older adults and their families health, safety, and wellbeing, and COVID 19 increased the demand for services by almost 100%. Our network was empowered and enhanced with additional funding, and our partners at New York State Office for the Aging worked diligently to ensure these funds went expeditiously to providers in the community. We are thankful to Goveronor Hochul and her long standing support to the aging network, and her commitment to ensuring Older New Yorkers are able to age with dignity, autonomy, and respect."

 

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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