Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislation that could make it easier for seniors to live with family members and avoid moving into long-term care facilities is now law.
Signed by the Governor today, Pennacchio’s bill, S-2727, establishes the Multigenerational Family Housing Continuity Commission to study and make recommendations on how to most effectively advance multigenerational family housing opportunities.
“This commission would consider the merits of more sensible rules that could strengthen families and communities and help determine strategies to encourage local officials to work with families to keep them together, not split them apart,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Everybody in the family benefits when generations reside together, and we want to encourage healthy, cost-effective options to make that possible.”
Pennacchio said easing the way for seniors to live with family members is especially poignant today, given the horrific loss of 10,000 elderly residents restricted to veterans and nursing homes during the pandemic.
“For too many families, the only option has been moving their loved ones into nursing homes,” Pennacchio said. “Unfortunately, we lost so many vulnerable seniors during COVID, and family members who were locked out were never able to say good-bye to their parents or grandparents, many who suffered and died alone and frightened. The catastrophe taught us that we need to provide families with alternatives to long-term care facilities.”
For many seniors who cannot afford to live on their own, rigid regulations can leave them with no choice but to enter a long-term care facility. Local housing rules in communities across the state often make it difficult or impossible for generations to reside together.
“This commission will consider more sensible rules that could strengthen families and communities. It is our intent to help determine strategies to encourage local officials to work with families to keep them together, not split them apart,” said Pennacchio. “Everybody in the family benefits when generations reside together, and we want to encourage healthy, cost-effective options to make that possible.”
The new commission will be required to provide an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature, including an update on their findings and developments in multigenerational family housing.
“If children want to keep their parents close by, government should help make that possible, not stand in the way,” noted the Senator. “Multi-generational living will make it easier for families to make ends meet and live more comfortably.”