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Photo courtesy of City Councilman Paul Vallone
Photo courtesy of City Councilman Paul Vallone

The city’s seniors can count on a strengthened social safety net, a Bayside-based lawmaker announced.

According to Councilman Paul Vallone, the fiscal year 2018 budget that the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed upon includes a $22.89 million increase in permanent funding for Department for the Aging-funded senior services.

Funding was allocated to hire additional senior center staff, provide additional meals for seniors and address the waitlist for senior home care and case management services.

Of the nearly $23 million in funding, $10 million was allocated to allow the city’s senior centers to hire appropriate staff and provide necessary services; $6.49 million was allocated to address the home care services waitlist; and $1.2 was allocated for the case management waitlist. A total of $4 million to support caregivers was baselined, as was $1.2 million to allow low-income seniors to take home an additional meal from their local center for the weekend.

Vallone, who sits as chair of the City Council’s Subcommittee on Senior Centers, worked with Manhattan Councilwoman Margaret S. Chin, chair of the Council’s Committee on Aging, to advocate for the increase in senior funding. Vallone praised the Council’s permanent increase in funding.

“This $23 million increase in permanent funding is a major win for seniors throughout NYC and truly reflects the needs of this rapidly growing segment of our population,” Vallone said. “Baselining this funding will allow the City Council to allocate funds towards innovative programs and technologies that will only enhance the quality of the services we are able to provide our seniors.”

Additionally, through the Council’s “Support of Seniors” initiative, created by Vallone, each council member will receive an additional $60,000 to directly allocate to his or her district’s quality senior centers or senior-service organizations.

Vallone used this funding to establish a free transportation program for northeast Queens seniors earlier this year. The services can be accessed by seniors living in the 19th Council District (Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing) by contacting the Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center at 718-224-7888.

“I will always continue to be an advocate for our city’s seniors and I am proud to have fought for these additional funds to improve and increase the services available to our aging population,” Vallone said. “This huge increase in funding will make sure 2017 is remembered as the year of the senior.”


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