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Senator Pennacchio: More than 7,500 nursing home deaths show need for more inclusive multi-generational housing blueprint for NJ

NEW JERSEY – After the heart-breaking loss of nursing home residents during the pandemic, Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislation to make it easier for seniors to live with family members and avoid moving into facilities was approved Monday by the State Senate.

“We lost more than 7,500 nursing home residents. In many cases it was nursing homes or nothing,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Family members were locked out and unable to visit and comfort their parents or grandparents, many who suffered and died alone and frightened. This bill will help provide families with an alternative to long-term care facilities.”

Pennacchio’s legislation, S-2727, would establish the Multigenerational Family Housing Continuity Commission to study and make recommendations on how to most effectively advance multigenerational family housing opportunities.

“This commission would consider the merits of more sensible rules that could strengthen families and communities and help determine strategies to encourage local officials to work with families to keep them together, not split them apart,” said Pennacchio. “Everybody in the family benefits when generations reside together, and we want to encourage healthy, cost-effective options to make that possible.”

For many seniors who cannot afford to live on their own, rigid regulations can leave them with no choice but to enter a long-term care facility. Local housing rules in communities across the state often make it difficult or impossible for generations to reside together.

“If children want to keep their parents close by, government should help make that possible, not standing in the way. The catastrophe taught us that we need alternatives,” noted the Senator. “Multi-generational living will make it easier for families to make ends meet and live more comfortably.”

Under the bill, the seven-member commission must provide an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature, including an update on their findings and developments in multigenerational family housing.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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