•  Summary 
  •  
  •  Actions 
  •  
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  
  •  Memo 
  •  
  •  Text 
  •  
  •  LFIN 
  •  
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A05597 Summary:

BILL NOA05597A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08357
 
SPONSORWeprin
 
COSPNSRLifton
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add Art 19-E 460 - 467, rpld Art 25, 559, Exec L; rpld Art 23-A, Ed L; rpld Art 25, Priv Hous Fin L
 
Establishes the Office of Community Living to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities and assure that persons with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to exercise all of the rights and responsibilities accorded to citizens of the state of New York and to promote and fund services that assist persons with disabilities to live independently in their home communities.
Go to top    

A05597 Actions:

BILL NOA05597A
 
02/10/2017referred to governmental operations
01/03/2018referred to governmental operations
05/09/2018amend and recommit to governmental operations
05/09/2018print number 5597a
Go to top

A05597 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A5597A
 
SPONSOR: Weprin
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing the office of community living; and to repeal certain provisions of the executive law, the education law and the private hous- ing finance law relating thereto   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Since the Office of the Advocate of Persons with Disabilities was elimi- nated, there has been no state agency charged with addressing the needs of the disabled community. The creation of an Office on Community Living would provide a focal point within state government to address the community integration needs of people with disabilities and it would be a powerful force to ensure that people with disabilities receive needed supports and services without being forced into institutions.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Establishes purpose, powers, and responsibilities of the Office of Community Living. This section outlines the general responsi- bilities of the director, additional powers of the Office of Community Living, the most integrated setting coordinating council, the role of independent living centers, and the New York access to home program. Section 2: Repeals Article 25 of the executive law. Section 3: Repeals Section 559 of the executive law. Section 4: Repeals Article 23-A of the education law. Section 5: Repeals Article 25 of the private housing finance law. Section 6: Effective date of April 1, 2017, provided that the governor is authorized to take whatever steps are necessary to effectively and efficiently transfer the functions transferred to the Office of Communi- ty Living from other agencies of the state so that the Office may fully operate on the effective date of this act.   JUSTIFICATION: Last year's budget (2015-16 SFY) called for a stakeholder process, under the leadership of the Commissioner of the Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), to discuss the creation of a new Office on Community Living (OCL), with a focus on furthering the Governor's Olmstead Plan and strengthening the No Wrong Door approach to service delivery. That stakeholder process resulted in a report, which identified a number of gaps in existing services and areas for improvement in coordination of service delivery. The study also highlighted the fact that - since the elimination of the Office of the Advocate of Persons with Disabilities - there has been no state agency charged with addressing the needs of the disability commu- nity. Additionally, during the stakeholder process, the state did not present any model of what the OCL could look like or how it could operate. Consequently, the lack of specifics - combined with misinformation on the proposal - caused some stakeholders to fear that the OCL was merely an attempt to eliminate NYSOFA. Stakeholders from the disability commu- nity presented models to both the aging community and the state in which NYSOFA would be preserved. Ultimately the disability community - which, again, has no state agency dedicated to its unique needs - came to the conclusion that that the state really needs to create OCL as an inde- pendent office dedicated to the needs of the disability community, leav- ing NYSOFA as a freestanding state office. In fact, at the public hear- ing the Task Force sponsored last fall on this issue, advocates called upon the Assembly to strongly consider the creation of an independent OCL to resolve the issue. The office would bring together the Independent Living Centers from the Department of Education, Access to Home from the Division of Homes and Community Renewal, the TRAID program from the Justice Center, and commu- nity integration programs from the Department of Health. The Office would also assume coordination of the Most Integrated Setting Coordinat- ing Council (MISCC) currently under the auspices of the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The creation of an Office on Community Living would provide a focal point within state government to address the community integration needs of people with disabilities and it would be a powerful force to ensure that people with disabilities receive needed supports and services with- out being forced into institutions. Furthermore, creating the Office on Community Living as part of the budget process, without making changes to NYSOFA, would address the significant and vital concerns being raised by the disability community while preserving the vital independent role that NYSOFA plays.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 02/10/17 referred to governmental operations 01/03/18 referred to governmental operations   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective date of April 1, 2019, provided that the governor is author- ized to take whatever steps are necessary to effectively and efficiently transfer the functions transferred to the Office of Community Living from other agencies of the state so that the Office may fully operate on the effective date of this act.
Go to top

A05597 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         5597--A
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 10, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. WEPRIN, LIFTON -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Governmental Operations -- recommitted to  the  Committee
          on  Governmental Operations in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2
          -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered  reprinted  as  amended
          and recommitted to said committee

        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  executive  law, in relation to establishing the
          office of community living; and to repeal certain  provisions  of  the
          executive  law,  the education law and the private housing finance law
          relating thereto
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The executive law is amended by adding a new article 19-E
     2  to read as follows:
     3                                ARTICLE 19-E
     4                         OFFICE OF COMMUNITY LIVING
     5  Section 460. Purpose.
     6          461. Office of community living.
     7          462. Director; general responsibilities.
     8          463. Additional powers of the office of community living.
     9          464. Most integrated setting coordinating council.
    10          465. Independent living centers.
    11          466. New York access to home program.
    12          467. Other responsibilities of the office of community living.
    13    § 460. Purpose. Persons with disabilities comprise a major segment  of
    14  the  state  of  New  York's  population  and  their particular needs and
    15  concerns must be considered as an integral  part  of  the  planning  and
    16  implementation  of all state programs and services affecting their lives
    17  and well-being. The office of community living shall advocate on  behalf
    18  of  persons  with disabilities and assure that persons with disabilities
    19  are afforded the opportunity to exercise all of the rights and responsi-
    20  bilities accorded to citizens of this state, and will promote  and  fund
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09713-04-8

        A. 5597--A                          2
 
     1  services  that assist persons with disabilities to live independently in
     2  their home communities.
     3    §  461. Office of community living. There is hereby established within
     4  the executive department an office of community living.  The  office  of
     5  community  living  shall  advise  and  assist the governor in developing
     6  policies designed to help meet the needs of  persons  with  disabilities
     7  and  to encourage the full participation of persons with disabilities in
     8  society.  The office of community living shall be the state's  coordina-
     9  tor  for  implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and, as
    10  such, is charged with coordinating state activities  which  insure  that
    11  state programs do not discriminate against and are accessible to persons
    12  with  disabilities. The office of community living shall also coordinate
    13  the state's efforts to comply with the  United  States  Supreme  Court's
    14  Olmstead  decision.  In  its 1999, Olmstead v. L.C. decision, the United
    15  States Supreme Court ruled that New York, like all states, in accordance
    16  with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), have  an  obligation  to
    17  provide services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated
    18  setting appropriate to their needs. A comprehensive Olmstead implementa-
    19  tion  plan that will address integrated housing, employment, transporta-
    20  tion, community services and other  important  issues  will  affirm  New
    21  York's  position as a national leader on disability rights. As such, the
    22  office of community living will assume responsibility of chairmanship of
    23  the most integrated settings coordinating council. The office for commu-
    24  nity living shall also be responsible for funding services that  promote
    25  and  advocate  for  independence  and  community living for persons with
    26  disabilities.
    27    § 462. Director; general responsibilities. The head of the  office  of
    28  community  living  shall  be the director, who shall be appointed by the
    29  governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate.  The director
    30  shall receive a salary to be fixed by the  governor  within  the  amount
    31  appropriated  therefor. The director, subject to rules prescribed by the
    32  governor, may appoint and  fix  the  compensation  of  subordinates  and
    33  employees of the division within the amounts appropriated therefor.
    34    § 463. Additional powers of the office of community living. The office
    35  of community living shall have the following additional powers:
    36    1.  Submission,  reviews and recommendations. (a) Each division within
    37  the executive department and all other departments of  the  state  shall
    38  submit  to  the  office  of  community living for review proposed legis-
    39  lation, regulations, orders and plans which may significantly affect the
    40  lives or well-being of persons with  disabilities  in  the  state.  Such
    41  matters  shall,  in  the  case  of proposed legislation, be submitted at
    42  least thirty days prior to submission to the  legislature  and,  in  the
    43  case of regulations, orders and plans, at least thirty days prior to the
    44  effective date of this article.
    45    (b)  The  office  of community living shall review and report upon all
    46  matters of significance submitted to it. The office shall submit reports
    47  or other comments where appropriate to the division or department  which
    48  referred  such  matter  evaluating (i) the impact of the proposed legis-
    49  lation, regulation, order, or plan upon persons with disabilities;  (ii)
    50  the  relationship  and  impact  of  such  proposals on existing programs
    51  affecting persons with disabilities;  (iii)  the  desirability  of  such
    52  proposals;  and  (iv) modifications that would enhance the impact of the
    53  proposal upon persons with disabilities or aid in the implementation  of
    54  the new proposal.
    55    2. Cooperation. All state agencies contemplating actions that would be
    56  subject  to review under this order shall inform the office of community

        A. 5597--A                          3
 
     1  living as early as possible in the process of developing such  proposals
     2  and  shall cooperate with the office of community living in carrying out
     3  these responsibilities to assure that appropriate consideration is given
     4  the needs and concerns of persons with disabilities.
     5    §  464.  Most  integrated setting coordinating council. 1. Legislative
     6  findings and intent. The Americans with Disabilities  Act  requires  the
     7  state  of  New  York to ensure that people of all ages with disabilities
     8  reside and function  in  the  most  integrated  setting  possible.  This
     9  requirement  was  recognized and upheld by the Supreme Court in the case
    10  of Olmstead, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Human Resources, et al.
    11  v. L.C., by Zimring, Guardian ad litem and Next Friend, et al.  (138  F.
    12  3d  893).  While  the  state of New York provides community supports for
    13  people of all ages with disabilities and while the  state  of  New  York
    14  does  operate  a  home  and community-based waiver Medicaid program, the
    15  legislature hereby finds that the state of New York has  no  centralized
    16  mechanism  in  place to determine whether or not people of all ages with
    17  disabilities are residing in the most integrated  setting  possible.  In
    18  order  to  ensure  that  the state of New York is in compliance with the
    19  requirements of the Olmstead decision, the legislature hereby finds that
    20  it is incumbent upon the state of New York to develop  and  implement  a
    21  plan  to  reasonably  accommodate  the desire of people of all ages with
    22  disabilities to avoid institutionalization and be  appropriately  placed
    23  in the most integrated setting possible.
    24    2. Definitions. As used in this section the following terms shall have
    25  the following meanings:
    26    (a) "Council" means the most integrated setting coordinating council.
    27    (b) "Disability" means, with respect to an individual:
    28    (i)  a  physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or
    29  more of the major life activities of such individual;
    30    (ii) a record of such an impairment; or
    31    (iii) being regarded as having such an impairment.
    32    (c) "Most integrated setting" means a setting that is  appropriate  to
    33  the  needs  of the individual with the disability and enables that indi-
    34  vidual to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possi-
    35  ble.
    36    3. Most integrated setting coordinating council; organization. (a) The
    37  most integrated setting coordinating council  is  continued  within  the
    38  executive  department  to  have  and  exercise  the functions powers and
    39  duties provided  by  the  provisions  of  this  article  and  any  other
    40  provision  of law. The council shall be comprised of the director of the
    41  office of community living, and the commissioners of: the department  of
    42  health,  the  office  of  persons  with  developmental disabilities, the
    43  office of mental health, the department of transportation, the office of
    44  children and family services, the office of alcohol and substance  abuse
    45  services,  the  department of education, and the division of housing and
    46  community renewal. In addition, the council shall consist of the  direc-
    47  tor  of  the  office  for  the  aging, a representative from the justice
    48  center for persons with special needs, six  consumers  of  services  for
    49  individuals  with disabilities, two to be appointed by the governor, two
    50  to be appointed by the temporary president of the senate, and two to  be
    51  appointed  by the speaker of the assembly, three individuals with exper-
    52  tise in the field of community services for  people  of  all  ages  with
    53  disabilities,  one  to be appointed by the governor, one to be appointed
    54  by the temporary president of the senate, and one to be appointed by the
    55  speaker of the assembly, and three  individuals  with  expertise  in  or
    56  recipients  of  services available to senior citizens with disabilities,

        A. 5597--A                          4
 
     1  one to be appointed by the governor, one to be appointed by  the  tempo-
     2  rary  president of the senate, and one to be appointed by the speaker of
     3  the assembly.
     4    (b) The director of the office of community living shall be the chair-
     5  person of the council.
     6    (c)  The  council  shall meet as necessary to carry out its functions,
     7  powers and duties, but such meetings shall  occur  at  least  once  each
     8  quarter.
     9    4.  Functions, powers and duties of the council. (a) The council shall
    10  develop, update and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive state-
    11  wide plan for providing services to individuals of all ages  with  disa-
    12  bilities  in  the  most integrated setting. Such plan shall include, but
    13  not be limited to:
    14    (i) the number of individuals of all ages with  disabilities  who  are
    15  currently  institutionalized and are eligible for services in community-
    16  based settings, the number of individuals residing in the community  who
    17  are  dependent  on  the  assistance of community-based services to avoid
    18  institutionalization and  any  improvements  necessary  to  be  made  to
    19  current  data  collection systems or any new data collection initiatives
    20  necessary to obtain such information;
    21    (ii) the current assessment procedures utilized to  identify  individ-
    22  uals  of all ages with disabilities who could benefit from services in a
    23  more integrated setting and the development of a single assessment proc-
    24  ess for individuals of all ages with disabilities in need  of  services,
    25  to  be  implemented  by  one  community-based agency in each county with
    26  expertise in community-based services for people of all ages with  disa-
    27  bilities through the use of a uniform assessment tool;
    28    (iii)  the  identification of what community-based services are avail-
    29  able to individuals of all ages with disabilities in the  state  of  New
    30  York and an assessment of the extent to which these programs are able to
    31  serve people in the most integrated settings;
    32    (iv)  the  identification  of what improvements need to be made to the
    33  system of community-based services to ensure that the system is  compre-
    34  hensive,  accessible,  meets  the  needs  of  persons  who are likely to
    35  require assistance in order to live in the community and  provides  high
    36  quality,  adequate  supports  for individuals of all ages with disabili-
    37  ties;
    38    (v) an evaluation of the supports and  services  available  to  assist
    39  individuals  of all ages with disabilities who reside in their own homes
    40  with the presence of other family members or other  informal  caregivers
    41  and  an evaluation of the supports and services available to address the
    42  needs of individuals of all ages with disabilities who reside  in  their
    43  own homes without family members or other informal caregivers;
    44    (vi) an examination of how the identified community-based supports and
    45  services  integrate  individuals  of all ages with disabilities into the
    46  community;
    47    (vii) a review of what funding sources are available to  increase  the
    48  availability  of  community-based  services  and  an analysis of how the
    49  varied funding sources available to meet the needs of individuals of all
    50  ages with disabilities in the most integrated setting can  be  organized
    51  into a coherent system of long term care which affords people reasonable
    52  and timely access to community-based services;
    53    (viii)  an assessment of how well the current service system works for
    54  different populations, including but not limited to, elderly people with
    55  disabilities, people with physical disabilities,  people  with  develop-
    56  mental disabilities, people with mental illness, and people with HIV and

        A. 5597--A                          5
 
     1  AIDS, and a review of changes that might be desirable to make services a
     2  reality in the most integrated setting for all populations;
     3    (ix)  an examination of waiting lists for community-based services and
     4  what might be done to ensure that waiting lists are  created  and  accu-
     5  rately maintained and that people are able to come off waiting lists and
     6  receive needed community-based services at a reasonable pace;
     7    (x) an examination of what information, education, outreach and refer-
     8  ral  systems might be useful to ensure that individuals of all ages with
     9  disabilities receive the information necessary to make informed  choices
    10  regarding  how  their needs can best be met, including the evaluation of
    11  the creation of a toll free hotline with information on  community-based
    12  services for individuals of all ages with disabilities;
    13    (xi)  an  evaluation  of how quality assurance and quality improvement
    14  can be conducted effectively as more people of all ages  with  disabili-
    15  ties live in community settings; and
    16    (xii) an examination of how the overall system of health and long term
    17  care  can  best  be  managed  so  that  placement in the most integrated
    18  setting becomes the norm.
    19    (b) The council shall contract with an independent  organization  with
    20  expertise  in  the provision of community-based services for individuals
    21  of all ages with disabilities and with expertise in the area of  program
    22  evaluation  research  to  conduct  an  evaluation  of the council's plan
    23  created pursuant to subdivision one of this section and the  implementa-
    24  tion of such plan.
    25    (c) Each commissioner and director serving on the council shall ensure
    26  that  his  or  her  agency implements every aspect of the plan developed
    27  pursuant to subdivision one  of  this  section  which  falls  under  the
    28  responsibilities  of  his  or  her agency. The council shall oversee the
    29  implementation of the plan created pursuant to subdivision one  of  this
    30  section  and  shall update such plan as necessary to ensure that waiting
    31  lists for community-based services for people of all ages with disabili-
    32  ties are moving at a reasonable pace and to ensure that the state of New
    33  York is developing a system of long term care that allows individuals of
    34  all ages with disabilities to reside and function in the most integrated
    35  setting.
    36    (d) The council shall provide an annual report to  the  governor,  the
    37  temporary  president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly. Such
    38  report shall detail the plan developed pursuant to  subdivision  one  of
    39  this  section,  any changes made to such plan, all steps taken to imple-
    40  ment such plan and their outcome, and any future actions planned.
    41    (e) The plan to be developed under this article shall not be construed
    42  to increase, decrease, or change the statutory authority of  any  person
    43  or  entity and shall be implemented consistent with all otherwise appli-
    44  cable law.
    45    § 465. Independent living centers. 1. Declaration of intent. Independ-
    46  ent living centers greatly assist persons with disabilities to integrate
    47  and live more independently in the  community.  Since  their  inception,
    48  service  centers  for  independent  living  have enhanced the ability of
    49  persons with disabilities to pursue an independent and active  lifestyle
    50  within  their  community.  In order to achieve this, it is necessary for
    51  the state to  provide  funding  to  maintain  existing  service  centers
    52  designed  to  promote independent living and to encourage the establish-
    53  ment of new centers. To maximize the effectiveness of these  centers  in
    54  promoting independent living for persons with disabilities, and to opti-
    55  mally  utilize  independent  living centers in helping the state to meet
    56  its obligations to persons with  disabilities,  the  responsibility  for

        A. 5597--A                          6
 
     1  independent  living  should be transferred from the education department
     2  to the office of community living.
     3    2.  Independent  living  centers;  purpose  and duties. An independent
     4  living  center  shall  be  a  community-based,  non-residential  program
     5  designed to promote independent living for persons with disabilities.
     6    (a) Such center shall:
     7    (i)  be a private not-for-profit corporation, pursuant to subparagraph
     8  five of paragraph a of section one hundred  two  of  the  not-for-profit
     9  corporation  law;  provided,  however,  that  persons  with disabilities
    10  comprise at least fifty-one percent of the membership of  the  board  of
    11  directors;
    12    (ii)  be  staffed  by persons with persons with disabilities and other
    13  persons experienced in assisting persons with disabilities;
    14    (iii) provide services designed to meet  the  needs  of  persons  with
    15  disabilities, including such services as assisting persons with disabil-
    16  ities  to  obtain housing, employment referral, transportation referral,
    17  attendant care, independent living  skills,  peer  counseling,  advocacy
    18  services,  job training, health care, homemaker services, and other such
    19  services as approved by the director;
    20    (iv) train personnel for the purpose of attendant  care  in  assisting
    21  and serving persons with disabilities; and
    22    (v) serve persons with disabilities.
    23    (b)  Such center may also, but need not limit itself to, provide disa-
    24  bility awareness programs, peer counseling, role modeling and any  other
    25  appropriate services within elementary and secondary schools.
    26    (c)  Such  service  centers  shall not be established or operated as a
    27  residential or housing facility.
    28    (d) Such service centers shall make maximum use of existing  resources
    29  available  to  persons  with  disabilities  and  shall not duplicate any
    30  existing services or programs, to  the  extent  that  such  services  or
    31  programs  are available through other state sources to meet the needs of
    32  persons with disabilities. Such centers shall however provide  necessary
    33  information and referral to assist a person with a disability in obtain-
    34  ing  such  services  and  coordinate where possible the delivery of such
    35  services to persons with disabilities.
    36    (e) Such service centers shall be in compliance  with  all  applicable
    37  local laws and ordinances.
    38    3.  Office  of  community  living;  responsibilities. The office shall
    39  assist individuals and organizations in the planning  and  establishment
    40  of  such service centers. The office shall ensure program accountability
    41  and shall monitor and evaluate such centers.
    42    4. Regulations. The office  shall  promulgate  rules  and  regulations
    43  necessary for the implementation of this article.
    44    5.  Distribution  of  funds.  (a)  Independent living centers shall be
    45  funded out of appropriations available for such purposes to  the  extent
    46  of the entire approved budget of such centers.
    47    (b)  Budgets submitted by independent living centers shall be approved
    48  in accordance with regulations of the office.
    49    (c) Independent living centers shall be located in the cities of Alba-
    50  ny, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, White Plains, Binghamton, King-
    51  ston, Poughkeepsie, Jamestown, Yonkers, the counties of  Queens,  Kings,
    52  Nassau, Bronx, Richmond and New York and the township of Brookhaven with
    53  a satellite center in Central Islip in the county of Suffolk.
    54    (d)  Additional  independent  living  centers  shall be located in the
    55  cities of Niagara Falls,  Olean,  Troy,  Amsterdam,  Newburgh,  Corning,
    56  Ithaca,  Cortland,  Auburn, Watertown, Plattsburgh, Batavia, Massena and

        A. 5597--A                          7
 
     1  Glens Falls, the counties  of  Delaware  and  Rockland,  the  county  of
     2  Orange,  in  either the city of Middletown or Port Jervis or in the town
     3  of Deerpark, Greenville, Mount Hope, Warwick  or  Wawayanda  or  in  the
     4  village  of Goshen, in the county of New York to serve the Harlem commu-
     5  nity, and in the counties of Putnam, Sullivan and Herkimer.
     6    § 466. New York access to home program. 1.  Statement  of  legislative
     7  findings  and  purpose.  The  legislature hereby finds and declares that
     8  there exists in the state of New York a serious need for  financial  and
     9  technical resources to assist renters and property owners to make dwell-
    10  ing  units accessible for low and moderate income persons with disabili-
    11  ties. Providing assistance with the cost of adapting homes  will  enable
    12  many  New  Yorkers  with disabilities to safely and comfortably continue
    13  to, or return to, live in their residences instead  of  residing  in  an
    14  institutional  setting.  To best accomplish this, the responsibility for
    15  the program is transferred to the office of community living.
    16    2. Definitions. As used in this article:
    17    (a) "Office" shall mean the office of community living.
    18    (b) "Eligible applicant" shall mean a city, town, village or  not-for-
    19  profit  corporation in existence for a period of one or more years prior
    20  to application, which is, or will be at the time of award,  incorporated
    21  under  the not-for-profit corporation law and has substantial experience
    22  in adapting or retrofitting homes for persons with disabilities.
    23    (c) "Disabled veteran" shall mean a veteran who is  certified  by  the
    24  United  States  department  of  veterans  affairs  or  the department of
    25  defense as entitled to receive  disability  payments  upon  the  certif-
    26  ication  of  such  department for a disability incurred by him or her in
    27  time of war.
    28    (d) "Access to home programs" or "programs" shall  mean  a  series  of
    29  activities  by  an  eligible  applicant  to  administer funds to provide
    30  either loans or grants to homeowners and  renters  and  to  oversee  the
    31  adaptation or retrofitting of eligible properties.
    32    (e)  "Eligible property" shall mean a housing unit that is the primary
    33  residence of a person with a physical disability and a  total  household
    34  income  that  does not exceed eighty percent of median income or a disa-
    35  bled veteran who has a total household income that does not  exceed  one
    36  hundred twenty percent of median income. A property shall not be consid-
    37  ered  an  eligible  property  if  the owner of the property is otherwise
    38  obligated by federal, state or local law  to  provide  the  improvements
    39  funded under this article.
    40    3.  Access  to home contracts. (a) Within the limit of funds available
    41  in the access to home program, the office is hereby authorized to  enter
    42  into  contracts with eligible applicants to provide financial assistance
    43  for the actual costs of an access to home program. The financial assist-
    44  ance shall be either in the form of grants or loans, as the office shall
    45  determine. No more than fifty percent of the total amount awarded pursu-
    46  ant to this article in any fiscal year shall be allocated to  access  to
    47  home programs located within any single municipality.
    48    (b)  The  total  payment pursuant to any one contract shall not exceed
    49  five hundred  thousand  dollars  and  the  contract  shall  provide  for
    50  completion of the program within a reasonable period, as specified ther-
    51  ein,  which shall not in any event exceed three years from its commence-
    52  ment. Upon request, the office may extend the term of the  contract  for
    53  up to two additional one year periods for good cause shown by the eligi-
    54  ble applicant.

        A. 5597--A                          8
 
     1    (c)  The  office  may  authorize the eligible applicant to spend up to
     2  seven and a half percent of the contract amount for approved administra-
     3  tive costs associated with administering the program.
     4    (d)  The office shall require that, in order to receive funds pursuant
     5  to this article, the eligible applicant shall submit a plan which  shall
     6  include,  but  not  be  limited  to,  program feasibility, impact on the
     7  community, budget for expenditure  of  program  funds,  a  schedule  for
     8  completion  of  the  program,  affirmative  action and minority business
     9  participation.
    10    § 467. Other responsibilities of the office of community  living.  The
    11  office  of  community  living  is also responsible for administering the
    12  following programs, some of which are being transferred from the justice
    13  center for persons with special needs:
    14    1. Information  and  referral  services.    Information  and  referral
    15  services,  including  the  toll-free  information and referral telephone
    16  line.
    17    2. Technology-related assistance  for  individuals  with  disabilities
    18  (TRAID)  program. The TRAID program's mission is to coordinate statewide
    19  activities to increase access to and acquisition of assistive technology
    20  in the areas of education, employment, community living and  information
    21  technology/telecommunications.  The  program  serves  individuals of all
    22  ages and disabilities.  The  program  supports  regional  TRAID  centers
    23  (RTCs) which provide information, training, device demonstration, reuse,
    24  exchange,  and  loans. The TRAID program also provides technical assist-
    25  ance and advocacy on how to obtain and use assistive technology services
    26  and devices.
    27    3. Adult home advocacy program.   The  adult  home  advocacy  program,
    28  which has been in operation since 1995, is now under the jurisdiction of
    29  the  office  of  community  living. The program assists individuals with
    30  mental health disabilities who reside in adult homes in the city of  New
    31  York  and  Long  Island in understanding their legal rights and promotes
    32  and protects  their  rights,  including  legal  and  non-legal  advocacy
    33  services,  training  on  residents'  rights supporting self-advocacy and
    34  leadership initiatives, and the  development  and  support  of  resident
    35  councils  is provided by qualified non-profit agencies which are awarded
    36  contracts through a competitive bidding process.
    37    4. Advocacy. Advocacy is a core function of the  office  of  community
    38  living. Advocacy is an active process with the goal of making the social
    39  system,  public  and community-based or private entities more responsive
    40  to the needs of persons with disabilities who are served by that system.
    41  Advocacy is not a singular  approach,  but  a  continuum  of  strategies
    42  including: self-advocacy, citizen advocacy, and systems advocacy.
    43    § 2. Article 25 of the executive law is REPEALED.
    44    § 3. Section 559 of the executive law is REPEALED.
    45    § 4. Article 23-A of the education law is REPEALED.
    46    § 5. Article 25 of the private housing finance law is REPEALED.
    47    §  6. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding
    48  the date on which it shall have become a law,  provided,  however,  that
    49  the  governor  is  authorized  to  take,  notwithstanding any law to the
    50  contrary, whatever steps are necessary to  effectively  and  efficiently
    51  transfer  the  functions  transferred  to the office of community living
    52  from other agencies of the state so that the office of community  living
    53  may fully commence operation on the effective date of this act.
Go to top