Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last year's bill helps spawn 170 senior apartments

Hawaii will soon see the results of a bill enacted into law last year, which authorized the use of special purpose revenue bonds, or tax-exempt bonds, to build a senior housing community in Nuuanu. The measure, introduced by Rep. Calvin Say, passed easily through both the House and Senate chambers to be made law by the Governor as Act 153 (2007).

According to the article in the Star Bulletin:
Construction on the 170-unit apartment complex -- known as 15 Craigside -- is scheduled to begin by summer's end. The first residents of the apartments along Craigside Place are expected to move in at the end of 2009.
The project consists of 27 studios, measuring 475 square feet, and 143 one-bedroom units at 695 square feet with all units licensed for assisted living so people can stay in their unit as they age. It also includes a 45-bed nursing facility.
Arcadia [the non-for-profit cooperation developing the community] has collected 115 deposits with 92 future residents putting 10 percent down, or between $15,000 and $35,000 each. Unit prices range from $148,000 to $395,000.
One of the many problems Hawaii faces is keeping up with the aging population. As baby boomers continue to get older and require care, space available in retirement homes across the state dwindles. Many seniors stay home and rely on family members to provide them with long term care and assistance, either because they choose to or because they cannot afford private assistance.

A bill that passed the legislature this year provides more assistance to family caregivers of Hawaii's aging population and other disabled persons, and includes aging in place as an issue to focus on. SB 2830 SD2 HD2 CD, which is currently on the Governor's intent-to-veto list, would:

1.)Extend the existence of the joint legislative committee on family caregiving.
2.)Change the committee's name to the joint legislative committee on aging in place (JLCAP).
3.)Expand the committee's authorization to include aging in place issues related to family caregiving.
4.)Require the Aging and Disability Resource Center to report to JLCAP.
5.)Require the Executive Office of Aging to develop a cash and counseling project.
6.)Allow kupuna care to include overnight, weekend, and emergency respite.
7.)Provide grants to caregivers for home modification.
8.)Appropriate funds to the kupuna care program.
9.)Establish a task force to focus on the needs and issues of grandparents raising grandchildren.
10.)Request the executive office on aging to continue its respite inventory project in collaboration with the University of Hawaii.

The bill was part of the Kupuna Caucus and Joint Legislative Committee on Family Caregiving packages.

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