$1.1 Million in NYC Department for the Aging Funds Were Cut in FY21 Budget

(January 10, 2022 at 1pm)

administered by each Borough President’s Office was eliminated in the Fiscal Year 2021 Expense Budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. today announced the restoration of the $1.1 million Borough President’s Discretionary DFTA Fund. Nearly $325,000 of this funding will be distributed by the Queens Borough President’s Office to support senior centers, homecare, meal services and more.

“Our elders disproportionally bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. From food and housing insecurity to isolation and the virus itself, which has proven to be deadliest for older individuals, the obstacles our seniors have faced these past two years are numerous,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “I’m proud to have fought tirelessly, and successfully, to get this critical funding stream restored this year and I look forward to working with our senior service providers to help improve the lives of the more than 300,000 elders who proudly call Queens home — each one of them deserving of the ability to age with grace and dignity.”

Passed just three months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic devastation, the adopted Fiscal Year 2021 Expense Budget saw millions of dollars in cuts to DFTA, including the elimination of a $1.1 million pool of discretionary funding shared amongst the five borough presidents’ offices and allocated to senior service organizations across their respective boroughs. The cut was vociferously opposed by all five borough presidents, including then-Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee.

Upon taking office, Borough President Richards took an active role in getting the funding restored through negotiating with the City Council, including with Queens Council Members such as then-Committee on Finance Chair Council Member Daniel Dromm and borough delegation leader Council Member Karen Koslowitz. On May 25, 2021, the Borough President testified before the City Council Committee on Finance, stating that many Queens seniors are “wholly dependent” on the services this funding supports.

With the fund restored, the Queens Borough President’s Office has already begun partnering with senior service organizations to identify and allocate funding toward programs designed to uplift Queens’ elders. 

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