Grants will be available to help communities incorporate age-friendly and healthy community principles into policies
Public/private partnership between New York State, AARP, Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, and New York Academy of Medicine
The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in cooperation with the New York State Departments of State and Health, announced a grant program today that will help communities to become healthier and more age-friendly. The program will fund communities that seek Age-Friendly Community certification from AARP and the World Health Organization (WHO). It will also fund county governments that commit to incorporating age-friendly and healthy community principles into all relevant policies, plans, ordinances, and programs.
The request for applications (RFA) will be released in fall 2018 and will be available on the NYSOFA website.
“New York is the first state in the nation to be enrolled in WHO’s global network of age friendly cities and AARP’s network of age friendly states and communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The Governor and I recognize the contributions of older New Yorkers and have been fighting to make New York more equitable for all ages. This grant program will advance our efforts to support aging and smart growth in communities across the state.”
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “Communities that understand and adopt age-friendly, smart growth principles thrive by attracting new residents to New York and retaining others, including the growing older adult population. Older New Yorkers are a vital part of their communities, contributing economically, socially, and intellectually through volunteerism, civic engagement, employment, and tourism. New York is leading by example in developing a comprehensive approach to incorporate age-friendly principles in communities across the state.”
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Governor Cuomo is making New York State the healthiest and most age-friendly state in the nation. He recognizes that healthy communities—with strong populations of all ages—are the drivers that create equitable and sustainable societies. The Department of State’s planning and development programs embrace these inclusive and accommodating measures.”
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, “This RFA is an opportunity for communities to incorporate health considerations and considerations for healthy aging into community planning. Health across all policies and healthy aging are principles of our Prevention Agenda, the state health improvement plan. Our Prevention Agenda vision is to become the healthiest state for people of all ages. This RFA will help localities achieve that goal.”
Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, New York State was certified as the first age-friendly state in the nation in 2017 by AARP and the World Health Organization. The grant program is part of two approaches launched by Governor Cuomo in 2017 and 2018—Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly NYS—which seek to create and foster healthier, more integrated communities that allow New Yorkers of all ages to easily access services, take part in civic activities, and move around their community without being dependent on an automobile. Age-friendly concepts include supporting healthy aging and aging in place, and supporting new business and procurement models in housing, construction, and information technology. These are achieved through system-level changes, such as offering incentives for age-friendly concepts, establishing new program and procurement guidelines and financing models, or implementing regulatory changes.
The State has developed an innovative public/private partnership to implement the program, which includes AARP, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, and the New York Academy of Medicine. This first-in-the-nation, multiagency, public/private sector approach will invest $1 million in state funding and leverage additional, significant investments from its partners to support Governor Cuomo’s ongoing priority of keeping New York age-friendly and healthy.
The grant program will provide one grant to communities in each of the 10 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) regions under the following options:
Option 1 is available to communities that are seeking to become designated/certified under the AARP/WHO model.
Option 2 is available for counties that seek to replicate the Governor’s Health Across All Policies approach to help them incorporate and adopt age-friendly/livable community and smart growth principles in their county plans and procurement opportunities.
Option 3 is available to a county, municipality or not-for-profit community-based organization to achieve both Options 1 and 2.
AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said, “As our population ages, it is critical that our neighborhoods become more age-friendly, and joining AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities will help localities do just that. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in making this funding available, for partnering with us to grow the network—and for making New York the first state in the nation to join the network. AARP is also pleased to have State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen and other policymakers with us for our two-day ‘Leading on Livability Summit’ in Syracuse to generate ideas for ensuring the state and its communities become more livable for residents of all ages.”
Health Foundation for Western and Central New York President Nora OBrien-Suric said, “As the first certified age-friendly state in the nation, New York has always been a leader in livable communities. These grants are an important next step in helping diverse regions of the state develop the necessary infrastructure to continue the journey towards being a truly livable state for people of all ages.”
The private partners in this effort will also develop Centers of Excellence in the REDC regions to assist communities to institute age-friendly, healthy, and smart growth principles.
About the New York State Office for the Aging
The mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is to help older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them. Stay connected to the New York State Office for the Aging—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.