Assemblymember Nazarian To Introduce Aging & Long-Term Care Bill Package

For immediate release:

LOS ANGELES, CA— Assemblymember Nazarian, Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long-term Care Committee, will be introducing three pieces of legislation this week that are part of his commitment to older Californians and people with disabilities.

Most impactful, Assemblymember Nazarian seeks to establish the Older Adult and People with Disabilities Targeted Rent Stabilization Program to prevent and end homelessness within this vulnerable group. This targeted rental assistance program would enable an estimated 25,000 older adults and people with disabilities who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness to afford private-market housing.

“Older low-income Californians and people with disabilities can no longer afford their rent and are facing a surge in homelessness. This legislation furthers the Master Plan for Aging goal of preventing homelessness among older adults. This legislation is values-driven, and I am committed to working with all stakeholders to see it implemented,” said Assemblymember Nazarian.

The Assemblymember’s next bill will establish a 5-year Healthier Home – Age in Place Nursing Program in eight counties across the state. Service-enriched housing for the aging population is an important tool for solving our state’s housing, long-term services and supports, and health care challenges. The Department of Aging will provide grant funds to qualified nonprofit organizations to hire one full-time registered nurse and one full-time community health worker to deliver health education, navigation, and coaching to residents at three senior affordable housing sites in each of the pilot counties.

The pilot counties include Contra Costa, Fresno, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Shasta, and Sonoma. Healthier Home is designed to provide and link social services and health care services in affordable senior housing sites; thus enabling older residents to remain living independently, avoiding unnecessary and costly healthcare services such as emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and skilled nursing facility stays.

This program is modeled after an effective program in Sacramento which saved an estimated $1.1 million annually in medical costs. Nearly 70% fewer residents moved out of the communities served because of illness or because they required more care than could be provided in their communities. This program will serve as important bridges to meet the needs of our low-income older adults until we have a statewide program in place.

“We must envision housing as a component of healthy living as we age. This program has proven effectiveness and moving forward, the pilot will allow us to gather data to implement this statewide in the future,” said Assemblymember Nazarian.

Finally, one of the bills seeks to address the issue of isolation for those living in long-term care facilities and the frustration felt by their loved ones dealing with confusing and ever-changing visitation guidelines throughout the pandemic. This bill will allow residents to choose two designated support persons who must follow all guidelines, but no different than those working in a facility.

“The Department of Public Health is holding loved ones to a higher standard and it is to the detriment of those living in care facilities. This pandemic has only highlighted the need for connection and the important role support persons play in the lives of those living in these facilities. This bill creates clear guidelines moving forward,” said Assemblymember Nazarian.