Have you heard the term NORC?
NORC stands for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities. The name has been around for nearly two decades but many people are not familiar with it.
A NORC happens naturally. It is not built. It arises when so many individuals age in place in a given neighborhood that they literally all become seniors at the same time. The government has noticed this phenomenon and finds it makes more sense to bring critical services to them, rather than move the entire neighborhood into an institutional setting.
NORCs start out as moderate-income apartment buildings or housing complexes (in some cases, low-income) built with government assistance. They are not originally built for older people, nor are they restricted to them; younger people can move it there as well. By the way, NORCs do not always happen in high rise buildings in urban areas; they can also arise in housing complexes with homes and low-rise buildings in a non-urban neighborhood.
A neighborhood becomes a NORC when 50% of the apartment units or homes have at least one elderly resident. At that point, the government adds services to the area so seniors can continue to live and thrive comfortably.
These services include:
- In-home assessments
- Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
- Housekeeping services
- Shopping assistance
- Friendly visiting
- Health screenings, exercise programs
- Information and referral services
If you are over 60 and want to live among others in your age bracket and partake of services that are available, or if you have a parent you would like to relocate to this sort of community, call the NY Connects number for your county.
NY Connects representatives can help you with all your long-term care questions throughout New York State, whether you need additional services for a senior at home or have questions about nursing homes or assisted living complexes.
NORCs in New York City
Right now there are 27 NORCs in NYC, spread over four boroughs. If you or your elder parent can’t afford assisted living, this is an alternative that makes good sense. Locations of NORCS in New York City
The New York City Housing Authority operates the NORC program through a partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging, the United Hospital Fund, and local community service providers. To learn more, call:
- Bronx: 718-409-8699
- Brooklyn: 718-498-3243
- Manhattan: 212-334-2506
- Queens: 718-206-3286