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Assisted Living in Unlicensed Housing: The Regulatory Experience of Four States

Assisted living is regulated differently in each state. In most states, assisted living is licensed as a single entity that provides housing and services to residents. However, in a growing number of states a new model of assisted living has emerged, in which the housing and services are separate. In this model, while the building is required to comply with the jurisdictions' relevant codes and requirements for multi-unit housing, it is not licensed, but instead makes arrangements with licensed service agencies to provide services to residents. The new model blurs the lines between assisted living, independent senior housing, and home care.

This AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper examines the unique issues that assisted living in unlicensed housing might have for consumers, in terms of quality of care, quality of life, and access to affordable assisted living services, based on the experiences of four states: Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and North Carolina.

Issues covered by the research report include:

  • Bringing assisted living services to subsidized housing
  • Physical environment
  • Ensuring quality of care
  • Resident assessments, service terminations, and evictions
  • Disclosure and consumer understanding
  • Residents' rights

In examining this new approach to assisted housing, the author discusses its potential benefits as well as possible issues of concern for consumers. (43 pages)

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