Each year, MFY serves more than 3,000 New Yorkers who are at least 60 years old or have a disability. MFY’s Disability & Aging Rights Project (DARP) provides New Yorkers with the assistance that they need to remain in the community, including helping them access the benefits to which they are entitled, improve the accessibility of their homes, and receive the accessible transportation and other services they need to remain integrated in the community.
DARP helps New Yorkers remain in the community and age in place by enforcing the Fair Housing Act. MFY regularly invokes the Fair Housing Act to make sure that New Yorkers who have disabilities are able to remain in their homes. For example, we successfully compelled the New York City Housing Authority to improve the accessibility of The Fulton Houses, which is a public housing project that has approximately 950 apartments in 11 buildings.
Accessible housing alone, however, is not enough. Approximately 172,000 New Yorkers currently rely on Access-A-Ride (AAR), a paratransit service operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, to travel to work, school, medical treatment, and other important destinations. In response to growing complaints from seniors and people with disabilities about denial of AAR service, MFY launched a pro bono initiative to advise and advocate for people who are trying to access AAR.
For New Yorkers who are living in institutional settings, DARP helps them combat abuse and neglect and, when possible, return to living in the community. During 2012, MFY launched its Nursing Home Residents Project to provide information, advice, and advocacy for nursing home residents and their families who are struggling with abuse, neglect, civil rights violations, improper discharge planning, and unfair consumer practices. The NHRP is modeled on MFY’s Adult Home Advocacy Project, which provides trainings, advice, and legal representation that has resulted in systemic reforms that have benefited thousands of New York’s adult home residents.
For help making a Fair Housing Act complaint, obtaining or retaining Access-A-Ride benefits, or with a problem you are having with an adult home, nursing home, or another facility, please call DARP toll-free at 877-417-2427.