New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Committee Clears Pennacchio Bill Supporting Multigenerational Households

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Creates Commission to Study Options to Long-Term Nursing Facilities

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio to make it easier for senior citizens to live with family members and avoid moving to long-term care facilities was approved by the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee today.

Senator Pennacchio’s legislation to make it easier for senior citizens to live with family members and avoid moving to long-term care facilities cleared the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee today. (Pixabay)

Pennacchio’s bill, S-2727, would establish the Multigenerational Family Housing Continuity Commission to research, solicit and consider public input, and adopt recommendations on how to most effectively advance the goal of enhancing multigenerational family housing opportunities.

“The commission will consider the merits of more sensible rules that could strengthen families and communities. They will determine strategies to encourage local officials to work with families to keep them together, not split them apart,” said Pennacchio.

“For many families, everybody benefits when generations reside together, and we want to encourage healthy, cost-effective options to make that possible,” Pennacchio continued. “Multi-generational living will make it easier for families to make ends meet and live more comfortably with the addition of a mother-in-law suite that is often prohibited by local ordinances,” Pennacchio said.

Often, local housing rules in communities across the state make it difficult or impossible for generations to reside together. Rigid rules and regulations leave many seniors who can’t afford to live on their own with no option but to enter a facility.

“Considering the astronomical cost of housing and taxes in the state, local governments should work to make it easier for grandparents, parents and children to save money and build stronger family ties,” said Pennacchio. “Older New Jerseyans would no longer be forced to consider leaving their families behind and moving out of state or signing into long-term care facilities.

“Families should have options to nursing homes. During the pandemic, more than 7,000 seniors have died in long-term facilities. If children want to keep their parents close by, government should be making that possible, not standing in the way. The catastrophe taught us that we need alternatives,” noted the Senator.

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.

“The Legislature can utilize the information provided by the commission to propose laws that benefit our most vulnerable citizens and their families.”

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