NYC Comptroller Stringer and state pols demand more support for seniors during pandemic

Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblyman Harvey Epstein
Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblyman Harvey Epstein

The city’s fiscal watchdog and a state lawmaker are calling on Mayor de Blasio to offer more support to seniors living in subsidized housing and at high risk of catching coronavirus.
Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblyman Harvey Epstein want the administration to provide 25,000 seniors in federally-funded housing, known as Section 202 buildings, the same level of support that seniors in city nursing homes are now entitled to under federal guidelines.
Those guidelines include directions on how to manage quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic, screening for fevers and bans on outside visitors and communal activities.
“There is no comparable support or guidance for Section 202 buildings, which serve the same population, but are owned and operated by private developers,” wrote Stringer and Epstein in a April 8-dated letter to de Blasio’s health and housing commissioners. “There is no good public health reason for Section 202 buildings to be exempted from similar public health guidelines, and yet that is exactly what is happening today."
The two blamed the situation on the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “failure” to serve Section 202 residents and the fact that the recent federal stimulus package did not include funds to pay for service coordinators and other expenses related to COVID-19.
Stringer and Epstein argued that the city should pick up the slack and perform an “expedited needs assessment” of Section 202 buildings in the city.
The city’s Health Department and Department of Housing Preservation and Development did not immediately respond.

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