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ALBANY, NY (WNY News Now) – After being hit so hard by the pandemic, many senior citizens are struggling to adapt to the new realities we now face.
Monday, however, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to expand tax relief for New York homeowners, particularly those 60 and over.
“You’re living on a fixed income because you’re not out there earning income any further. So, you might have a pension, maybe you don’t, but life is hard as it is. And then we start seeing the cost of living escalate – everything from gasoline to your groceries, to your monthly payments,” says Hochul.
According to Hochul, many seniors are now being forced to go back to work. To help curb the need for retirees to return to the workforce, the state has raised the Medicaid income limit and increased the eligibility for SNAP.
“We’ve already completed construction of over 13 units of senior housing just this year alone, 1300 new housing units,” boasts Hochul. “That’s part of our $25 billion housing plan, $300 million for senior housing alone. That’s why we’ve also expanded eligibility for heating and cooling benefits.”
The first of three laws signed increased the cap for property tax exemptions for people over 65 and people living with disabilities from $29,000 to $50,000.
The second will improve the RESTORE Program (Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly) to help keep their homes up to code so they can continue living there.
“So right now, they’re supposed to have certain construction deadlines with supply chains. They’re not likely to meet them, so expanding those to 60 days, as well as doubling the maximum cost as well, from $10,000, we’ll give them $20,000 under this program,” says Hochul.
The last law extends local options to provide property tax exemption to first-time home buyers, giving younger people a chance to enter the elusive housing market.
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