OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 139

AN ACT CONCERNING PERSONS RESIDING IN ELDERLY HOUSING AND MEMBERS OF SENIOR CENTERS.

SUMMARY:

This bill establishes a bill of rights for (1) people living in elderly housing projects (housing for the elderly and congregate housing) and (2) members of senior centers. It requires a designated employee of an elderly housing project to inform incoming residents of the bill of rights when they enter into a residency agreement. (But it does not specify who should inform members of senior centers or when they should be informed. ) It requires elderly housing projects and senior centers to post the bill of rights in a prominent place (presumably at the facility and senior center).

The bill also requires each housing authority, municipal developer, or nonprofit corporation operating an elderly housing project or congregate housing to allow residents to establish and maintain a garden if the operator has land appropriate for a garden. Any resident establishing a garden must consult with the operator about the type of herbs, fruits, flowers, vegetables, or other plants he or she would like to plant.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

BILL OF RIGHTS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

The bill requires every elderly housing project and every senior center to have a written bill of rights prescribing the rights of residents and members, respectively. It requires a designated employee of the elderly housing project to provide and explain the bill of rights to incoming residents when they enter into a residency agreement. (It does not contain a similar requirement for members of a senior center. )

The bill of rights must state that each member has the right to:

1. be treated with consideration, respect, and due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy;

2. privacy within a private residential unit, subject to rules of the elderly housing project reasonably designed to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the resident (not applicable to senior center members);

3. private communications, including receiving and sending unopened correspondence, telephone access, and visiting with people one chooses;

4. participate in and benefit from community services and activities so as to achieve the highest possible level of independence, autonomy, and interaction within the community;

5. exercise all civil and religious liberties;

6. meet with other residents or members to discuss the policies, procedures, and services of the elderly housing project or senior center;

7. present grievances and recommend changes in policies, procedures, and services to the manager or staff of the facility or senior center, government officials, or anyone else without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal from the elderly housing project or senior center; and

8. get a copy of any rules or regulations of the elderly housing project or senior center.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Aging Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

8

Nay

3

(03/10/2011)

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

16

Nay

4

(03/25/2011)