Council Candidate Sandra Ung, Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan, Dustin Jones, Reverend Ian Harris and a group of senior citizens joined together for a press conference in front of the SelfHelp Community Services Center in downtown Flushing on April 27th. The two candidates laid out a detailed set of policy prescriptions to tackle the continued lack of affordable housing for seniors across New York City.
Sandra Ung said, “We need to tackle the lack of senior affordable housing from every angle. Sites like the SelfHelp Helen R. Scheuer House provide a critical need in the community, combining affordable housing for independent seniors and on-site social services. The city needs to continue to expand assisted options like this, and Flushing in particular is sorely in need of more complexes like these. But many seniors also want to age in place at home with dignity. The City Council also needs to immediately move to pass Int 0146, which would tie the value of FHEPS to the Section 8 rate and make it easier for those with rental vouchers to find an apartment. We also need a more robust paid family leave program that recognizes that many caretakers are unpaid family members who must forego income every time their loved ones need to visit the doctor or need assistance filling out forms.”
Sandra Ung added, “Our immigrant community here in Flushing faces a unique set of challenges, however. 94% of Korean seniors and 92% of Chinese seniors in New York City have limited English proficiency. 39% of Chinese American seniors and 35% of Korean seniors in New York City have no Social Security income. AAF found that Asian New Yorkers have the highest poverty rate of any ethnic group once public benefits are taken into account, inferring that Asian New Yorkers are less likely to access the public benefits available to them due to language barriers, immigration status or eligibility. With limited English and limited income in retirement, many of these seniors are left without any way of paying for rent. We need a dedicated team of multilingual, culturally competent housing navigators in the community to help connect these residents with the best option for them. Community organizations that serve this vulnerable population need more funding so that we can help tackle poverty and lack of housing in our community.”
"Our city's older residents, particularly those from our immigrant communities, have given so much of their lives in the service making NYC the greatest city in the world. And yet, they are too often marginalized, overlooked, and even exploited by the institutions that are meant to protect and serve them" said NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan. "One area where aging New Yorkers are especially vulnerable is when it comes to accessing quality and truly affordable housing. This lack of access is magnified when we take into account language barriers that pose additional challenges to immigrant communities and those New Yorkers who may not speak English as their first language."
"Our city must do more to prioritize the use of in-language communication for all community outreach and provide older residents with affordable, safe, and accessible housing, as well as the necessary services they need to survive and thrive," Donovan continued. "As Mayor, I will do that necessary work in addition to creating a Bill of Rights for Aging New Yorkers and appointing the City's first Chief Equity Officer to ensure that equitable outcomes are part and parcel of every single policy my administration enacts."
Sandra Ung is running for City Council in New York’s 20th Council District, which includes Flushing, Murray Hill and Fresh Meadows. For the last eight years, Sandra has worked in Congresswoman Grace Meng’s office handling constituent services and community outreach operations. She previously worked as an attorney advocating for victims of domestic violence and has experience in both local and state government.
4月27日，市议会候选人黄敏儀，市长候选人尚恩 唐諾文， Dustin Jones和一群年长者一起在法拉盛市中心的自助社区服务中心前举行了新闻发布会。两位候选人提出了一套详细的政策方案，以解决纽约市各地持续缺乏年长者可负担的住房的问题。
“我们城市的年长居民，特别是那些来自移民社区的年长者，他们为纽约市可以成为世界上最大的城市付出了太多的时间。然而，他们经常被边缘化，被忽视，甚至被那些旨在保护和服务他们的机构所利用。” 纽约市市长候选人尚恩 唐諾文说道。“一个年长者急需要帮助的方面是获得高质量和真正负担得起的住房。如果再考虑到对移民社区和那些母语可能不是英语的纽约人所面临的语言障碍，这种接触渠道的匮乏就更加严重了。”
“我们的城市必须做更多的工作！首先，在社区推广时，我们应该使用合适的语言交流，并为年长居民提供负担得起的，安全的，无障碍的住房，以及他们生存和发展所需的必要服务，”尚恩 唐諾文继续说。“作为市长，除了为年长纽约人制定《权利法案》(Bill of Rights for elderly New york)和任命纽约市首位首席公平官(Chief Equity Officer)之外，我还将做一些必要的工作，以确保公平是本届政府制定的每项政策的重要组成部分。”"
黄敏儀说:“我们需要从各个角度解决老年人经济适用房的缺乏问题。像海伦·朔伊尔自助社区服务中心（SelfHelp Helen R. Scheuer House） 这样的中心提供了社区的关键需求，为独立年长者提供了负担得起的住房和现场社会服务。这座城市需要继续扩大这样的服务，法拉盛尤其需要更多这样的楼群。许多老年人也希望能体面地在家里安度晚年。市议会还需要立即通过Int 0146法案，该法案将FHEPS的价值与第八章联邦房屋补助券的房价挂钩，让那些拥有租房凭证的人更容易找到公寓。我们还需要一个更健全的带薪探亲假项目，许多看护人都是无薪家庭成员，他们必须在亲人需要看医生或填写表格时放弃收入。
尚恩 唐諾文是一名终身公务员，他将30年的工作经验带到了竞选下届纽约市市长的过程中。唐諾文的职业生涯始于为纽约市解决无家可归和住房问题，他与主教约翰尼·雷·杨·布拉德(Johnny Ray Young Blood)一起在布鲁克林东部建造了5000座非常实惠的尼希米之家(Nehemiah Homes)。唐諾文是一位住房专家，他在9/11事件后担任布隆伯格市长的住房专员，然后在美国房屋赎回权危机期间担任奥巴马总统的房屋局部长，最终以预算主任的身份监督美国4万亿美元的联邦预算。唐諾文最近发布的200多页的纽约市规划概述了候选人的愿景，即重建和重新设想纽约市成为一个适合每个人的城市，包括围绕老龄化、住房和其他对所有纽约人都很重要的关键问题的详细提案。