Number of Senior New Yorkers Increases in Homeless Shelters: All You Need to Know

According to a new research from a local nonprofit organization, the number of single persons 65 and older in New York City’s primary shelter system more than quadrupled between 2014 and 2022, expanding at a rate nearly three times faster than the number of younger single adults in shelters. During the fiscal year that ended in June 2022, there were around 1800 persons over 65 living in single-adult shelters a significant portion of the city’s homeless elders up from previous years.

Those over 65 made up 8% of the shelter’s population, up from 5% as previously. According to the organization, there are currently over 320,000 older New Yorkers on waiting lists for affordable apartments in federally built buildings designated for those 62 and older, an increase from roughly 236,000 in 2016. 

Number of Senior New Yorkers Increases in Homeless Shelters

A recent survey claims that there has never been a higher percentage of homelessness among seniors in New York City. The nonprofit organization LiveOn NY discovered that in 2023, around 1900 single persons over 65 spent an average of one night at the Department of Health and Human Services. In the ten months that ended in April, around 650 single persons over 65 relocated from shelters into permanent accommodation that was supported, according to a statement released by the city’s Department of Social Services on Thursday. This surpassed the amount in every fiscal year since 2019.

According to LiveOn NY, a growing proportion of senior citizens in New York are only one uninsured sickness, job loss, or real estate transaction away from homelessness. To compile the research, the team polled property managers and examined information from the city’s housing and homelessness authorities. The amount of single individuals over 65 who were housed in the city’s shelter system more than quadrupled between 2014 and 2022. Three times as many seniors were staying in shelters as young people who were single.

Inflation pushing elders of NYC into homeless shelters

One sign of the dilemma of overpriced housing in New York City is the growing number of seniors who are homeless. With a 1.4% rental vacancy rate and far less supply of reasonably priced flats, it’s the worst it’s been in fifty years. In an effort to counter this, the city shut down 80 percent of Airbnb properties in the area and imposed additional rules. In the meanwhile, waiting lists for government-built, subsidized residences designated for individuals 62 years of age and above in New York City contain over 315,000 senior citizens. In 2016, there were around 230,000 elderly people on the waiting list. 

The city cannot meet demand, with over 30,000 lottery flats becoming up for sale between 2020 and 2023. There were just 10% of the lottery units that were senior citizen apartments. Not to add that a large number of older individuals looking for rental-controlled apartments have mobility issues, which limits their alternatives for housing.

Number of Senior New Yorkers Increases in Homeless Shelters: All You Need to Know

Growing old in NYC, getting homeless

An elderly person can become homeless in a number of ways. Some had broken up with their partners and discovered they couldn’t support themselves. Some are the long-term homeless, people who left the formal economy early in life and have never been able to return. In 2023, the US homeless population hit a terrible turning point. Since counting began more than 15 years ago, the number of homeless persons in the country has increased, according to a new report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The latest data from the federal government shows a sharp increase, with a 13% increase in the number of homeless people between the previous and current year. New information on those experiencing a crisis is also included in the study. The age distribution of homeless individuals is taken into consideration in the federal point-in-time report for the first time ever. The numbers are stunning: In the US, one in six homeless persons (ages 55–64) is getting close to retirement age. 

The housing dilemma that older individuals face is becoming a rising concern for activists and lawmakers; more in-depth reporting on age will assist shine light on this issue. However, some crucial information regarding those who are homeless is still missing from official records, such as the number of asylum seekers, who most certainly contributed to this year’s surge.

A Housing Crisis for elders in NYC

HUD encouraged municipalities to provide more detailed age-related statistics for this year’s census. Seven age groups are included in the new census, as opposed to only one for those over 24. State and local reports collectively indicate that a significant portion of the country’s homeless population consists of older folks. Advocates and housing authorities won’t be shocked by this.

According to census forecasts, after ten years, the population over 65 will surpass that of those under 18. A paper detailing how housing difficulties for older persons are anticipated to worsen due to estimates of an aging population and constantly growing housing costs was issued only last month by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

2 thoughts on “Number of Senior New Yorkers Increases in Homeless Shelters: All You Need to Know”

  1. Even family’s that live on SSI and SSA benefits are losing their homes because rent is so high they can’t afford it and Hud has a 2 to 4 year waiting list and are government don’t seem to care my family was just homeless for 6 months we filled for help and couldn’t get it we just found a home that we were able to buy at a good price so we bought it even though it needs a roof a bathroom because last owners tore it out but the way we see it It’s a place we cam lay are heads down at and not worry were we will be staying at that night

  2. How about seniors who worked all their life and is not considered a priority due to there income. Prisoners , drug addicts and everyone come befor the seniors who worked all their life.


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