About one-fifth of Newton’s residents are part of our senior population, and this share is projected to grow significantly in the coming years. Most of our seniors hope to remain Newton residents, as many of my relatives did. Their active presence and engagement in our city is vital to sustaining our local civil society – because retired residents are a core volunteer base – and is a critical piece of the puzzle in building a truly multi-generational community where everyone is welcome. Overwhelmingly, these older residents have lived here for 25 years or more and represent key institutional knowledge and memory in our community. In knocking on doors in Newton over the past six or so years, I have regularly met seniors who are struggling to afford not just their taxes but also home maintenance.
As your next Councilor, I will…
Explore how city government can assist seniors with critical repairs of their homes that they are unable to do for reasons of financial hardship or physical disability. A UMass Boston study commissioned by the Senior Citizens Fund of Newton in 2014 found that nearly one fifth of Newton residents over the age of 60 were “unable to afford needed home modifications.”
Keep working toward vibrant senior public spaces, affordable and diverse housing and transit options suited to the challenges of aging, and a depth and breadth of community activities available for our senior population. This includes building a new senior center (on an appropriate site), which will meaningfully expand our city’s support for seniors.
Champion the expansion of programs that maintain and increase intergenerational engagement so that our senior population does not become isolated from our community and so that our youngest residents have opportunities to form strong bonds with our senior citizenry.