Directs the office for the aging to create a shared housing program in consultation with the division of housing and community renewal and to maintain a registry for senior citizens who seek to find housing with seniors; requires references and an acknowledged statement as to whether they have been convicted of certain crimes.
TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/30/11 An act to amend the elder law, in relation to creating a shared housing program for senior citizens
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to assist older New Yorkers in locating affordable housing.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 Amends the Elder Law by adding a new section 224. This bill would establish the Shared Housing Program. The program would be administered by the State Office for the Aging (SOFA) in consultation with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). Persons who are 60 years of age or older would register with SOFA or an Area Agency on Aging to indicate their interest in sharing their living space or in seeking living quarters with another eligible person. SOFA or Area Agencies on Aging would be required to maintain a registry of senior citizens seeking to share housing.
In addition, this bill would require that information be collected on a designated form designed by SOFA that would include the name, address, references and a statement indicating whether the individual has been convicted in the past five years of certain crimes. Providing information known to be false would be cause for immediate removal from the registry.
SOFA would also be authorized to impose a fee not to exceed one dollar for entry of a senior's name onto the registry. Such fee would be collected for the purpose of implementing and maintaining the shared housing registry.
Section 2 - Effective Date
EXISTING LAW: This bill adds a new Section 224 to the Elder Law.
JUSTIFICATION: The costs associated with maintaining a home or renting an apartment continue to increase considerably. Providing aid to senior citizens seeking to share living space with another older person has potential benefits. It would assist the elderly in reducing their housing costs and provide for increased companionship and security. Excessive housing costs are the most wide-spread housing problem facing the elderly. In addition, seniors are often forced to move from their life long residence when a major life event, such as the loss of a spouse or declining health occurs. A report issued by SOFA and DHCR stated that when a senior citizen has to move under these circumstances they often prefer to reside in housing with persons of their own age. Assisting senior citizens in making living arrangements during such a difficult period could greatly ease the fears and anxieties associated with making appropriate living arrangements.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: S.113 - Reported and Referred to Finance/A.3955 - Referred to Aging 2010: S.7706 - Reported and committed to Finance/A.1359 - Referred to Aging 2009: A.1359 - Referred to Aging 2008: S.3170B - Amended and Recommitted to Finance/A.827 A - Amended and Recommitted to Ways and Means 2007: S.3170 - Reported and Committed to Finance/A.827 - Reported, Referred to Ways and Means
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 113 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the elder law, in relation to creating a shared housing program for senior citizens THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The elder law is amended by adding a new section 224 to read as follows: S 224. SHARED HOUSING FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. 1. THE OFFICE SHALL ESTAB- LISH A PROGRAM, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMU- NITY RENEWAL, THROUGH WHICH, PERSONS WHO ARE SIXTY YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER MAY REGISTER WITH THE OFFICE OR DESIGNATED AGENCIES ON AGING INDICATING THEIR DESIRE TO SHARE THEIR LIVING SPACE OR ARE SEEKING LIVING QUARTERS WITH ANOTHER ELIGIBLE PERSON. 2. THE OFFICE OR DESIGNATED AGENCIES ON AGING SHALL MAINTAIN A REGIS- TRY OF SENIOR CITIZENS SEEKING TO SHARE THEIR LIVING QUARTERS WITH ANOTHER SENIOR CITIZEN. (A) INFORMATION SHALL BE COLLECTED ON A FORM DESIGNED BY THE OFFICE, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE THE NAME, ADDRESS, UP TO THREE PERSONAL REFERENCES AND A STATEMENT INDICATING WHETHER THE INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN CONVICTED IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS OF A CRIME INVOLVING THEFT, ASSAULT, THE THREAT OR USE OF FORCE, POSSESSION OR SALE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, OR POSSESSION OF A WEAPON OR FIREARM. THE INDIVIDUAL SHALL SPECIFY ON THE STATEMENT THE CRIME OR CRIMES, IF ANY, FOR WHICH THERE HAVE BEEN CONVICTIONS. THE STATEMENT SHALL INCLUDE AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT THE INFORMATION IS TRUE TO THE BEST KNOWLEDGE OF THE SENIOR CITIZEN AND THAT PROVIDING INFORMATION KNOWN TO BE FALSE IS CAUSE FOR IMMEDIATE REMOVAL FROM THE REGISTRY.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00267-01-1 S. 113 2
(B) INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE SHARED HOUSING REGISTRY SHALL BE CONFIDENTIAL AND USED ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. 3. THE OFFICE SHALL DEVELOP AND PROMULGATE REGULATIONS, IN CONSULTA- TION WITH THE DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL, NECESSARY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS SECTION. 4. THE OFFICE MAY IMPOSE A FEE THAT SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE DOLLAR FOR ENTRY OF A SENIOR CITIZEN'S NAME ONTO THE REGISTRY AND SUCH FEE SHALL BE COLLECTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPLEMENTING AND MAINTAINING THE SHARED HOUSING REGISTRY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.