More than 77% of American adults over the age of 50 want to remain in their homes rather than move to assisted living or long-term care facilities, according to a recent AARP survey. However, the cost of rent makes it difficult for many aging New Yorkers to remain in their homes.
The city council is considering new legislation that would provide additional protections for aging renters.
If passed, Int. 673-2022 would give renters who are over the age of 60 and are facing termination of tenancy or eviction the right to full legal representation at no cost. Additionally, the legislation would require the NYC Department for the Aging to provide a housing support program and financial assistance for at-risk individuals. The council also considered new legislation that would require the NYC Department for Aging to create and distribute a pamphlet that explains what rights older adults have on a variety of topics and offer cultural and linguistic programs that are relevant to residents at older adult center locations.
Reaction to potential legislation
Advocates for the new legislation believe that the city has a responsibility to do more to ensure older adults can live with dignity. Officials for the NYC Department for the Aging expressed support and concern about whether the Department has the necessary resources to enact the legislation.
Many community members believe the legislation is necessary to combat landlords who continue efforts to force residents out of rent-controlled housing. Critics complain that assistance is already available to older renters but the organizations that provide it lack resources.