Coronavirus shows that seniors need better housing options | Opinion

Indeed, the nation has a model, the architects said. It’s called the Green House Project, a 17-year-old non-profit organization with 300 homes in 23 states, including Michigan. It hopes to open another 30 to 40 homes nationwide next year. Each Green House typically has 10 to 12 residents, who have their own apartment and bathroom, a shared dining area, and gardens or porches. There are usually two nursing assistants and a nurse for every 10 residents, which allows staff to actually get to know their residents. Many Green House programs, including Resthaven in Allegan County, accept Medicaid patients.

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  • The Center for Innovation, or CFI, the parent organization of the Green House Project and Pioneer Network, is reorganizing its leadership as it focuses on growth. Susan Ryan will serve as the Center for Innovation’s first CEO … Ryan has led GHP as it grew to include more than 370 homes in 32 states.”

  • “New HUD housing policy can align with and support calls for change in the nursing-home industry. Updating HUD’s existing public-private infrastructure with grants and loan terms targeted at specific innovations such as the small-home design, presents a logical place to originate much of the proposed reform that policy makers and consumers are advocating.”

  • “Research demonstrated the relative advantage of Green House homes over traditional nursing homes. Technical assistance made the model less complex for potential adopters and less expensive because technical assistance staff worked with states to mitigate potentially costly regulatory hurdles and provide a process and model for the development of Green House homes.”

  • “One way to attract and retain nursing home staff is to house them in nearby, affordable apartments, an idea used with success by at least several healthcare companies on the East Coast. The latest to create this employee benefit is Navigator Homes of New England. It is in development to bring Green House Project-inspired homes to 70 seniors with skilled nursing needs in Martha’s Vineyard.”