$22.9 Million in Baselined Funding Added to DFTA for Senior Services in the Year of the Senior

YOU did it!

YOU made 2017 the Year of the Senior!  

$22.9 Million in Baselined Funding for Senior Services

What is happening?

  • The final city budget was passed on June 6, 2017. LiveOn NY is thrilled to announce that the Administration/Mayor included a remarkable influx of $22.9 million of baselined funding allocated for the Department for the Aging (DFTA) programs.  This is an historic addition of funding and is the most successful increase in 15 years.  In addition, City Council allocated over $21 million for senior services, plus additional senior program specific funding through Schedule C allocations. 

How does the city provide funding for aging service programs in the budget?

  • Both the Administration and City Council allocate funding for programs in the annual budget, including funding for DFTA programs.
  • When the Administration allocates funding, it is typically “baselined” meaning it remains in the budget year after year and becomes part of DFTA’s ongoing operating budget, which was approximately $346 million last year (which includes city, state and federal funding). 
  • City Council’s allocated funding is discretionary and is funded on a year-to-year basis.
  • For many years, baselined funding for DFTA programs was stagnant, despite the exponentially growing aging population, and in some years there were cuts. These decades of underfunding resulted in growing wait lists for services, senior centers in disrepair, and no community-based safety net for older New Yorkers. This also required City Council to add one-year funding each year for many of DFTA’s core senior service programs like senior centers, case management, home care and others.  While this City Council funding was so crucial and so appreciated, it was no way to build the infrastructure to support New York City’s aging population.
  • That’s why LiveOn NY, along with a strong coalition of aging advocates including AARP, CaringKind, CityMeals on Wheels, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), UJA Federation New York and United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) developed a $60.6 million FY18 budget request, specifically calling upon the Administration to baseline funding for core senior services, so that the funding will continue to build the infrastructure for DFTA programs.

How was the FY18 funding allocated? 

FY18 – YEAR OF THE SENIOR

*To see a complete list of all of FY18 City Council funding through Schedule C, click here.

What are some key highlights in the Year of the Senior?

  • The $4,000,000 for Caregiving Programs is a brand new funding stream, which begins a city investment in caregivers.
  • Social adult day care received an increase from FY17.
  • The NYC Support our Seniors funding increased by $1,060,000 from FY17.
  • The baselined funding for home care and case management is an investment to address the thousands of seniors on waitlists.
  • In addition, after a very strong campaign led by the Human Services Council (HSC), the city announced additional allocations to “right size” contracts for human services organizations.  According to the HSC budget statement statement, the FY18 budget included the following provisions: "$88 million to bring indirect cost reimbursement rates to 10 percent over five years, beginning with a $17.6 million investment this year; $22.7 million to support a model budget process that will address salary disparities for preventive services, senior centers, services for runaway and homeless youth, and adult protective services, with plans for additional model budget processes in fiscal years 2019 and 2020; and  $90 million to fund cost-of-living adjustments for the human services workforce at a rate of 2 percent per year over the next three years remains."   Council Member Helen Rosenthal was also strong advocate for these issues.

How did we make this the Year of the Senior?  It was a TEAM effort!

  • Last summer, City Council Aging Chair Margaret Chin declared 2017 the Year of the Senior, setting the stage for year- long advocacy campaign. Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Subcommittee on Senior Centers, also worked closely with Council Member Chin in these efforts. City Council staff members were also instrumental in this important work.
  • Seniors citywide and LiveOn NY members sent an astounding total of 22,000 letters to the Mayor, Speaker and Council Members urging them to fund senior services. Click here to see a list of the organizations that took part in the letter writing campaign. Over 350 seniors also attended Advocacy Day at City Hall in May, and hundreds more also attended hearings, made calls, held events at their centers and programs and advocated year round showing the amazing momentum seniors provide to this city.
  • DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado was a strong advocate for the importance of investing in senior services across the spectrum, from senior centers, to meals, to home care, to mental health services for elder abuse victims, to case management and other programs.
  • All City Council Members and staff, under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Finance Committe Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, staunchly advocated for senior services in hearings and meetings in the Year of the Senior and also included the aging advocates' $60.6 million budget request in the Council Budget Response. 
  • Mayor de Blasio and the Administration listened to and clearly heard the importance of investing in seniors. 
  • The coalition of aging advocates along with LiveOn NY member agencies worked year round to advocate for this funding, holding briefings, attending hearings, holding hundreds of meeting with City Council and the Administration, press conferences and other events to talk about the incredible momentum seniors provide to the city and how important it is to invest in aging services.  

What’s next?

  • Today we celebrate – but our work is not done.  We will continue to advocate to make each year the Year of the Senior.  Stay tuned for Action Alerts and news so that you can stay involved in our efforts.

Contact Bobbie Sackman, Associate Executive Director of Public Policy at 212-398-6565 x226 or  bsackman@liveon-ny.org or or Andrea Cianfrani, Deputy Director of Public Policy at acianfrani@liveon-ny.org or 212-398-6565 X233