Senator Díaz Announces Governor Signs Legislation to Expand Services to New York State’s Older Residents

 

For Immediate Release:

August 18, 2010

          Senator Díaz Announces Governor Signs Legislation to Expand Services
                              to New York State’s Older Residents

August 18, 2010 - State Senator Rubén Díaz (D-Bronx), Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Aging today announced that Governor Paterson signed into law legislation that he sponsored which removes the head of household requirement from the definition of an elderly person in order to receive services under the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) program (S.7647/A.9838, Chapter 348 of 2010).

“I am grateful to Governor Paterson for signing this legislation into law,” stated Senator Díaz.  “This bill removes the head of household requirement that may prevent an adult over the age of sixty from receiving NORC supportive services. As the population of people over the age of sixty increases, this law will allow older New Yorkers to receive important services that will enable them to remain living in their own homes,” continued Senator Díaz.

Ron Soloway, Managing Director of Government and External Relations, UJA-Federation of New York said: “This bill removes the head of household requirement in determining eligibility for NORC program funding, a requirement that otherwise limited participation. This is a positive change that would remove an unnecessary impediment for elderly persons to access NORC services and retain their residencies and independence.”

Susan Stamler, Director of Policy and Advocacy, United Neighborhood Houses said: “United Neighborhood Houses applauds Senator Díaz for spearheading a new law that provides more seniors with an opportunity to stay engaged in their communities and participate in programs that keep them healthy. Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORCs) programming has been an integral part of promoting wellness for seniors. Continued support for NORC programs and other supportive services are necessary to help older New Yorkers age, where they choose with dignity and independence.”  

Igal Jellinek, Executive Director of the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City said: “We applaud Senator Díaz for his leadership and support on behalf of the aging community. This legislation will ensure that all eligible seniors have access to NORC services including important socialization programs that will certainly contribute to an enhanced quality of life for the elderly.”

Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Area Agencies on Aging said “The New York State Association of Area Agencies on Aging thanks Senator Díaz for spearheading Bill S7647 and applauds Governor Paterson’s support and signing of the bill.  Removal of the head of household requirement for participation in NORC supportive services allows those seniors who are over 60 but no longer a head of household to become actively involved. Allowing more people to participate in these important socialization programs will prevent social isolation and delay institutionalization of senior citizens.”

The companion bill in the Assembly was sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.  The bill was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature.


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