Resolution 2007-02 Recommending Guiding Principles for Building at Laguna Honda


San Francisco Mayor's Disability Council Resolution
Recommending Guiding Principles for Any Housing Built
on the Laguna Honda Campus for Current or Potential Residents

WHEREAS, the City is considering proposals for building Assisted Living housing on the Laguna Honda campus, but has so far only considered proposals for building Licensed Care facilities; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor's Disability Council and the disability community encourage the City to invest in models of housing and services that maximize autonomy, choice, dignity, and independence for residents; and

WHEREAS, the greatest identified need for persons who qualify for Skilled Nursing Care is NOT a Licensed Care facility but rather independent housing with appropriate supportive services – that is, non-medical models, whether referred to as Assisted or Supported Living; and

WHEREAS, Proposition A approved by San Franciscan voters in 1999 mandates that we address the needs of at least 1200 people who require skilled nursing care as well as an additional 140 individuals in assisted living who may or may not require skilled nursing care, but DOES NOT mandate the location or type of facility in which that care is provided; and

WHEREAS, exclusively pursuing Licensed Care models on the Laguna Honda campus is being driven by misapprehensions and fears of homeowners living near Laguna Honda over the type of resident who might be housed on the Laguna Honda campus if non-licensed Assisted and Supported Housing options were made available; and

WHEREAS, those of us with disabilities have the greatest investment in this issue, and it is therefore within the disability community that this debate properly belongs; and

WHEREAS, Licensed Care Facilities are extremely expensive to build and operate; and

WHEREAS, all five Licensed Care options researched to date have already been presented in Public Hearings to be cost-prohibitive and therefore not feasible; and

WHEREAS, Article 19 of the 2007 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities asserts the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others& by ensuring& the opportunity to choose [our] place of residence and where and with whom [we] live& and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement& [and that we] have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community& ;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor's Disability Council strongly advises that in the deliberations regarding housing resources for current and potential residents of Laguna Honda Hospital, the Mayor and Board of Supervisors be guided by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1999 Olmstead Decision [Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581, 597, 600] which held that:
* unjustified institutional isolation is properly regarded as discrimination; and
* institutional placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life; and
* confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals, including family relations, social contacts, work options, economic independence, educational advancement and cultural enrichment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor's Disability Council advises the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors that decisions to build housing for current and potential residents of Laguna Honda be guided by the following principles:

(a) Given our limited resources, the needs of people with severe disabilities are best served by funding independent housing options that have lower capital and operating costs than licensed medical care facilities;

(b) In our public discussions regarding this topic, we remember that we are talking about people not beds and that our language and policies reflect that distinction;

(c) Independent housing enables the greatest autonomy and self-direction possible for the person with a disability;

(d) Independent housing enables persons with disabilities choice concerning with whom we live, including partners, family, and friends;

(e) Independent housing enables people with disabilities to age in place with services enhanced as needs change, but without requiring them to be uprooted and move to a new site in order to receive them;

(f) Housing, wherever it is built, should be designed to provide true homes, and not an institutional environment.

September 21, 2007 Mayor's Disability Council – ADOPTED

Ayes: 9 - Jack Fagan, Jul Lynn Parsons,
Norma Block, Denise Senhaux,
Richard Ow, Tatiana Kostanian,
F. Ross Woodall, Sarah Estes Merrell and Raphaella Bennin.

Nay: 0

Absent: Elizabeth Grigsby and Amy Wishnie