Assemblywoman
Earlene
Hooper

Message to the People

You Are Protected From Random Eviction And
Excessive Rent Increases

Thanks to Assemblywoman Hooper, your landlord cannot double or triple your rent or evict you and your family without reason. As part of the Rent Regulation Reform Act, Chapter 116 of the laws of 1997, landlords will still only be able to collect small increases in rent and must continue to offer renewal leases to tenants.

Your Rent Controlled
Or Rent Stabilized
Apartment Will Remain With Your Family

Assemblywoman Hooper fought to make sure your family will still be able to inherit your apartment with the same rent protections. Under the Rent Regulation Reform, Chapter 116 of the laws of 1997, the succession rights of your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, in-laws or domestic partner are now protected by law.

You Will Be Able To Live Free Of Harassment By Your Landlord

Assemblywoman Hooper supported tough new penalties for the landlords who harass their tenants. In Chapter 116 of the laws of 1997 the new rent laws create a new class E felony punishable by up to four years in state prison. Also, landlords who harass their tenants will now face civil penalties of up to $5,000.




Protective Services

More and more senior citizens are living independently. Unfortunately, some are frail and in ill health often needing assistance. If you are concerned that an elderly friend, relative or neighbor is living at risk alone, contact your County Department of Social Services for help. The department will send someone to visit and assess the situation firsthand to determine the kind of help they need.


Tax Relief

In order to provide tax relief for residents age 65 or older, New York State has taken action on several fronts. Following are three programs which may help ease your tax burden:

  • The Real Property Tax Exemption
    According to bill number A8930-A , you may be eligible to have your real property tax bill cut in half. This 50% exemption is offered as a local option to homeowners age 65 and over whose annual income is within specified guidelines. To find out if the exemption is in effect in your locality and what the income levels are, you can call the country, city, town, or village assessor’s office.
  • The Circuit Breaker Credit Rebate
    This is a state tax credit or rebate available to homeowners and renters with a gross annual household income of $18,000 or less. To obtain this tax relief, (up to $375 depending on income) you must submit claim form IT-214 to the State Department of Taxation and Finance. You will not automatically receive this credit; you must file for it. It is not necessary to pay state income taxes in order to receive the credit.
  • Income Tax Exemption of Retirement Income
    Changes in the tax law now exempt all retirement pension and annuity income up to $20,000 per person per year from state income taxes. In the past, only state and local government pension income was exempt. You must be at least 59 ½ years old to qualify.

EPIC

  • Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage
    With EPIC, more than one million elderly New Yorkers can save as much as 60% on their prescription medicines. Those who qualify never pay more than $23 for a prescription, and may pay as little as $3. If you are 65 or over, spend at least $15 per month on prescriptions and have an income of $18, 500 or less if you’re single or joint income of $24,400 or less if you’re married, this program may be for you. For additional information, call the toll-free EPIC hotline at 1-800-332-EPIC.

Rent Relief

  • Section 8 Housing
    Under the federal “Section 8” housing assistance program, you may be able to have your rent set at a fixed percentage of your income. To be eligible, you must fall within specific guidelines. For example, your landlord must agree to participate in the Section 8 program and the rental must constitute a “rent hardship” according to standards set in the program. To find out if you are eligible for assistance under the Section 8 program, call the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal or local Office of the Aging.
  • Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP)
    If taking care of everyday chores is a problem, EISEP can help. Without EISEP, frail seniors who can otherwise live on their own might be forced into a more restrictive environment. EISEP provides in-home, non-medical care such as housekeeping, cooking and shopping. This program is administered through the State Office of the Aging.

    The cost depends on your income. For more information, call your local Office of the Aging.




For Your Information

Available Programs

  • Food Stamps

    The Food Stamp Program encourages those on fixed incomes to maintain healthy nutritional practices. If you qualify, you can use food stamps like cash when buying food. To find out how to obtain food stamps, call your local Social Services Office.

  • Nutrition

    Senior nutrition programs, located in community centers throughout the state, offer hot mid-day meals to persons 60 years of age and older. Contributions toward the cost of meals are accepted, but no one is refused because of inability to pay. If circumstances prevent your getting to a nutrition-site on your own, ask your local Office of the Aging about transportation. Home-delivered meals may also be available under special circumstances.

  • Lifeline

    Bell Atlantic offers this reduced rate service plan for $1 per month plus cost of basic calls, if income eligible. Call 890-7100 (toll free anywhere in the state-no area code necessary) for an application and more information.

  • Protection for Utility Consumers

    The elderly are especially hard-hit by rising utility costs. However, under the “Utility Consumer’s Bill of Rights,” older state residents have been extended greater protection against potential losses of vital utility services. For example, if you are over 62, blind or disabled, your utility company must contact you by phone or in person before shutting off your utilities: explain the reason they are shutting off your utilities, explain your rights under the law and provide special protections during cold weather. You cannot have your utilities turned off if loss of service could cause serious health or safety problems.

  • Reduced Fares on Public Transport

    If there is a public bus service operating in your locality, it is quite likely that special reduced fares exist for senior citizens. In some cases, this fare reduction may only be offered during specific time periods; in other cases, there may be no restrictions at all. Call your local Office of the Aging for more information.

Medicaid

Medicaid pays the medical expenses of those 65 or older, blind or disabled who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or who have insufficient income or resources to meet their medical needs. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, pays for long-term health care for eligible individuals. It also may pay the cost of Medicare Part B and other private health insurance. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is a federal/state program of medical assistance administered by counties in New York state. Contact your local Office of Aging for more information.




What has Assemblywoman Hooper
done for her District?

Assemblywoman Provided $250,000 Grant to Merrick to Repair Central Parkway

Central Parkway in Merrick got a face-lift in 2003…A complete repair due to a $250,000 grant provided by the Assemblywoman.

Roosevelt Legislation is now the Law:

The legislation for which I fought and was signed into law does the following:

  1. Twelve million dollars allocated for school years 2001/2002;
  2. Three new schools to be built at little cost to taxpayers, a new High School, a middle School, and an Elementary School to be ready for occupancy by August 15, 2005 (It’s the Law!);
  3. Local contractors/business to have first option to the contracts for the building of the schools and procurement;
  4. Six million dollars to the school district EACH year, in addition to the regular school aid, for the such purpose of education;
  5. No tax levy without Voter approval.

The Roosevelt community is now on the “MAP” because its schools are now on TRACK.

$500,000 Grant to the Uniondale Community Center
The Assemblywoman has allocated a five hundred thousand dollar grant ($500,000) to the Uniondale community to assist in the capital project of the John J. Byre Community Center.

The UCC has now purchased the adjoining property to expand their program.

New Legislation
Assemblywoman Hooper is currently working on new legislation pertaining to Housing, which is bill number A9297, and health which is bill number A9298.

January 7, 2004 — A9297

TITLE: AN ACT to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to special proceedings to convey title to abandoned dwellings to individuals

PURPOSE: To allow low income individuals to pay the owed taxes and restore abandoned houses.

SUMMARY: The individual’s income must be below EPIC level and physically live in the house for a least five years.

JUSTIFICATION: There are numerous abandoned houses that have been taken off the tax-roll and foreclosed due to the disappearance of the owner.

January 7, 2004 — A9298

TITLE: AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to permitting licensed distributors to have the authority to purchase and distribute certain drugs and pharmaceuticals purchased internationally.

PURPOSE: To permit discount drug companies to purchase and distribute certain drugs and pharmaceuticals purchased from international drug companies.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would help alleviate the burden that the ever rising cost of prescription medicines has put upon senior citizens and low income individuals.


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