HD38 - Fostering the Development of Affordable Assisted Living Facilities through Training, Education, and Information

Executive Summary:
Assisted living has emerged as one response to the growing demand for facilities that combine housing and necessary supportive services while promoting the maximum independence possible for elderly and other residents. The cost of residency in these facilities may exceed the resources of older citizens creating considerable interest in finding ways to make them more affordable.

Following a two-year study that the Virginia Housing Study Commission (VHSC) completed in 1998, the Commission recommended that detailed studies examine and report on several specific issues relating to affordable assisted living. Among these, the VHSC noted the need for a source of comprehensive information about all aspects of these facilities. House Joint Resolution 743, introduced by Delegate James F. Almand, requested that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) undertake a number of specific actions designed to increase knowledge and awareness of information that could help foster the development of affordable assisted living options for Virginia's seniors.

The Report documents the Department's activities to date in this area and outlines several other actions that will be initiated within the next few months. DHCD has:

• Included material relevant to assisted living within the affordable housing training curriculum of the Virginia Housing Training Center,

• Provided a workshop on assisted living at the September 1999 Governor's Conference on Housing,

• Begun work on developing materials for the DHCD web site that will provide links to other key sources of information about a variety of assisted living issues, and

• Begun developing a "Best Practices" handbook, based on assessments of existing assisted living facilities, which will be in draft form by March 31, 2000.