The state is spending millions to help low-income disabled people move out of nursing homes. The state is introducing the Home First program, with $15 million from the capital program and $4 million from Chase Bank, to buy foreclosed homes, renovate them for handicap accessibility, and rent them out to those now living in nursing homes.
“The program will help people move out of nursing homes. It will help save the state money by providing services in the community that are much less costly than those in the institutions, and it will strengthen our communities by buying up properties that are now in distress,” says Marca Bristo, president of the group Access Living.
Brisco says the state spends $50,000 a year to put a low-income disabled person in a nursing home. The cost of independent living is half that, even including assistance that a disabled person might need.
The program is intended to purchase and rehabilitate 100 homes, serving 145 individuals, over the next four years, including 18 homes within six months. Bristo says the number of individuals who are eligible for this housing statewide is “in the thousands.”