Governor Hochul’s fiscal year 2023 budget calls for the creation of a Master Plan for Aging, with NYSOFA taking the lead, joined by our longstanding partners.
A Master Plan for Aging is a deliberate process and plan to support individuals of all ages, from birth to death, by integrating the work of both the public and private sectors to create communities that promote several goals. Among those goals are: healthy living and access to care; community connectedness through civic engagement, volunteering, and work; open space and walkable communities that promote physical exercise while reducing reliance on motor vehicles; and more.
For well over a decade, NYSOFA, our sister agencies, and other public and private organizations have worked collaboratively on these very goals under the umbrella of New York’s Prevention Agenda and Health Across All Policies approach in concert with other pioneering community revitalization and smart-growth initiatives, like Complete Streets. Together, these commitments led to New York becoming the first AARP/WHO-designated Age-Friendly State in the nation.
The foundation for this work began long before the term “age-friendly” came about. It started with Community Empowerment Grants in 2007 and evolved into Livable New York, a proactive initiative to equip communities with resources for implementing smart-growth and livable community elements that benefit people of all ages. (Check out the Livable NY Resource Manual that the state developed with almost 100 public and private stakeholders.)
While New York’s master plan may share a similar name to California’s recent efforts, the New York concept differs in many important respects. California’s effort developed entirely under its master plan rubric with a process starting line in 2019 and a set of recommendations announced in 2021. New York’s master plan, by contrast, is a landmark far along in an existing process of formative planning and policymaking over the past decade, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen and coalesce around longstanding important work.
We will keep you informed and engaged as NYSOFA develops the implementation plan for New York’s Master Plan for Aging and takes this next bold step in our longstanding collective work to support healthy aging in communities across all of New York.