Coming off a year of significant victories, AARP in New York City will focus its public policy efforts in 2018 on ensuring that all city agencies consider the impact of new proposals on older New Yorkers.
“Our priority is creating age-friendly communities,” said Chris Widelo, AARP associate state director for New York City.
“Our hope is that when New York City tackles new projects—whether it’s a new park or a street improvement or a new supermarket—city officials think about an older clientele and what their needs will be,” Widelo added.
Traditionally, local AARP advocacy has been seen as directed primarily at the city’s Department for the Aging. AARP’s aim is to demonstrate that it can have an impact on policies throughout city government, not just with one agency.
Among AARP’s 2017 victories was increasing Department for the Aging funding by $23 million. Next year, the association aims to seek more assistance for unpaid family caregivers, whose efforts often help keep aging relatives out of nursing homes.
It will also work with the mayor and City Council with the goal of more affordable housing in the city. AARP focus groups have found that housing affordability is one of the most important issues facing older New Yorkers. —Philip Lentz
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