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GNPS Advocacy Projects

Good Neighbors of Park Slope advocates for issues of concern to our members.. 
 
If you have an issue that concerns older adults in our neighborhood and some ideas of how GNPS can successfully address the issue, please submit the Advocacy Issues FormYou will them be contacted to talk about the possible next step(s).

  • List of Current GNPS Advocacy Projects:

Click on an issue below to find out why it's important, what GNPS has been doing about it, and how you can help.
 
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Spreading the word about Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
Spreading the word about Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
What is SCRIE?
SCRIE is a NYC program that helps seniors pay their rents.  To be eligible, a person must be at least 62 years old, live in a rent regulated apartment, have their name on the lease, pay at least 1/3 of their household income on rent, and have a combined household income of less than $50,000 after taxes.

Why is this issue important to our members?
Only 43% of eligible households have applied for this programs. Elderly NYC seniors living in unaffordable housing on a fixed income face stark choices. Many skip meals, don’t go to the doctor, and do not fill their prescriptions. Not knowing about SCRIE, they spend down their life savings until there is nothing left. Having little discretionary income, their lives become more and more restricted. If the rent goes too high, they loose their apartment and are uprooted from the neighborhood where they know the people around them.

What has GNPS been doing about this issue?
Last December 11th, we sponsored an outreach event at the Park Slope Library. We set up tables throughout the neighborhood and handed out and posted flyers to promote the event. Many elected officials and community organizations helped us spread the word. 74 people came for help.
rent freeze event 12-11-15
Scenes from December 11th Rent Freeze Outreach Event.
This past November, we had our second outreach event working with LiveOn NY, the Department of Finance, and the Brooklyn Public Library's Office of Older Adult Services. It was the largest SCRIE Outreach Event ever held, with 143 people attending.
How you can help:
Download and post this flyer and share it on social media:
Join our group to hand out flyers, contact community organizations, and help out on the day of the event. Contact 
Lynne Ornstein at lynne.fcc@gmail.com or call her at 347-546-3508. 
For more information on the NYC Rent Freeze Program go to http://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentfreeze/index.page.
 
 
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Reverse Mortgages for Coop Owners
Reverse Mortgages for Coop Owners
What is the issue?
The federal government does not consider cooperative apartments to be real property and therefore will not back reverse mortgages loans or issue guidelines for this type of housing. Recently legislation that would allow reverse mortgages for seniors 70 and over who make their homes in cooperatives has passed the New York State Senate and has been introduced in the Assembly. If passed, this bill (# A.10246) would open the door for lenders not interested in FHA to begin to make reverse mortgage loans in NY State. However, the legislation, as currently written, does not have strong protections for the owners who are elderly and can easily be taken advantage of. Even some of the bill's sponsors don't want it to leave committee until stronger protections are included. 

Why is this issue important to our members?
Many co-op owners in Park Slope and elsewhere are "house rich and cash poor". The equity in their homes has skyrocketed, and it would be good if they could utilize it. 

What is GNPS doing about this issue?
Luckily, one of our members, Tally Talbot, has experience as a financial counselor working with reverse mortgage contracts. She will be reviewing the legislation and examples of current reverse mortgage contracts to help us pinpoint provisions that should be included in the legislation that would make sure coop owners have more protections. For example, the federal legislation has a provision that before a contract can be signed the owner needs to meet with an impartial financial counselor to review the contract to help them understand what they are about to sign. We would like this provision to be included in the state legislation as well. 

How you can help:
If you are interested in this issue, sign up on the Activities Overview or email goodneighborsofparkslope@gmail.com.

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Accessible transportation and age-friendly streets
Accessible transportation and age-friendly streets

What is the issue?

In order for us to maintain our quality of life as we age, we need elevators and escalators in our subways, buses along major routes, and benches along the commercial blocks of our neighborhood. Signage in buses and subways must designate priority seating for the elderly.

 

Why is this issue important to our members?

Our mobility and ability to care for ourselves depends on getting around the neighborhood and the city, by public transportation and by walking.  

 

What is GNPS doing about this issue?

We have been working with our Councilman Brad Lander and Assemblyman Robert Carroll to help organize and participate in activities that advocate for these issues.  We inform our members of upcoming activities that we feel would be useful for us to participate in.  Interested members have spoken at press conferences and other meetings to promote these ideas.

 

How you can help:

If you are interested in this issue, sign up on the Activities Overview or email goodneighborsofparkslope@gmail.com.to help organize and participate in activities that advocate for these issues.  



 
  • List of Community Connections:
 

PROSPECT PARK ALLIANCE

 

We have a GNPS member on the Prospect Park Alliance Community Committee to represent the needs of older adults. See the link for more information or write to us with any park related issue you would like to have her address.

 

https://www.prospectpark.org/learn-more/who-we-are/community-committee/


  • Social Activism Interest Group
Some of our members have expressed an interest in sharing information with other members about various social activist events that are happening around our area, and possibly arranging to attend these activities as a group.

If you are interested in receiving this information, please add your name to the new 
Social Activitism Interest list, in the ADVOCACY section of the Activities Overview page of our Website. You may then be sent emails from us that have been requested by members who wish to share information.  We will not give out your email address, but if you are interested in these activities or events you can then respond directly to the person who is coordinating.

If you have an event that you would like to share with other members, please send an email with information about the event to goodneighborsofparkslope@gmail.com. Include the name and email and/or phone of the person to be contacted by interested members.  Your email will be sent to all members who have signed the "Social Activism Interest Group" list.

Please note: Good Neighbors of Park Slope is facilitating communication among members with regard to these activities, and is not necessarily supporting or endorsing particular activitie
s.
If you are having any difficulty using this site please call us at 917-947-9121
 
 
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