NYS Seal




Expansion of the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Supportive Service Program


To assess various proposals for expanding the NORC program, including a neighborhood-based NORC program model also known as a NORC Without Walls (WOW), in order to serve more seniors around the State.

April 11, 2005
10:00 a.m.
Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor
Roosevelt Hearing Room C

A Naturally Occurring Retirement Community or NORC is an apartment building or housing complex that was not specifically built for the elderly in which many of the residents have aged in place. Many of these older residents now need support services to enable them to continue living in their homes. To help address the increasing needs of older residents living in these apartment building or housing complexes, the State Legislature enacted the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Supportive Service program, known as the NORC program, in 1994.

A NORC supportive service program is a collaborative and financial partnership among a housing entity, health care providers, social service agencies, government agencies, and private philanthropy to provide a wide array of social and health care services to well and frail elderly residents at a housing site. Currently, New York State funds 14 NORC programs located in four out of the five boroughs of New York City and in the upstate cities of Troy and Rochester. These programs have been successful in maintaining the elderly in their homes and forestalling nursing home placements and hospital stays.

To qualify for State funding, a NORC must have at least 50 percent of its households headed by a person aged 60 or older or have at least 2,500 residents that meet this age requirement. While this NORC model has been very successful in assisting seniors who reside in large apartment buildings, there are also many seniors who live in their own homes, multi-family homes or smaller apartment buildings who need support services to stay in their homes. The purpose of this hearing is to assess new NORC program models, in particular, the neighborhood-based model, in order to expand the current NORC program to serve more seniors around the State.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony, and for a description of the bills which will be discussed at the hearing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Steve Englebright
Member of Assembly
Committee on Aging


  1. What changes, if any, should the State make to improve the current NORC program model?

  2. What changes, if any, should the State make to the current NORC program statute to expand the program to serve more seniors around the State?

  3. What are the most successful elements of the current NORC program model that should be replicated in any new NORC program model?

  4. How would any new NORC program model serve the needs of seniors living in more suburban or rural areas of the State?

  5. What is the potential of the current NORC program model or any new model for serving more seniors around the State?

  6. Under the current NORC program model, the housing entity plays a key role by providing financing and other important resources, such as rent-free space for NORC program staff. What organizing entity would take the place of the housing entity in the neighborhood-based model and how would it function?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on Expansion Of The Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Supportive Service Program are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Debbie Holland
Legislative Associate
Assembly Committee on Aging
Room 522 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: holland@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4371
Fax: (518) 455-4693

box I plan to make a public statement at the public hearing on Expansion Of The Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Supportive Service Program to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Aging on April 11, 2005. My statement will be limited to 10 of minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

box I will address my remarks to the following subjects:


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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