Councilor Althea Garrison wants more dedicated senior housing in the City of Boston.
“I know senior citizens don’t feel safe in their housing situations,” she said during the regular city council meeting.
Garrison said many senior citizens do not feel safe in their current housing situation because they are forced to live with individuals suffering from drug abuse.
“Seniors and the elderly should be protected in their homes from those with substance abuse problems and any violent perpetrators who may live in or be given access to buildings where a large number of seniors reside,” said Garrison’s order for a hearing.
“There are senior citizens in Boston right now who feel unsafe, abused or bullied in their place of residence as a result of mixed housing situations where they are forced to live with those who experience substance abuse issues and others who display violent and harassing behaviors,” the hearing order went on to say. “The City of Boston needs to look at the way in which it allocates or does not allocate certain buildings for dedicated senior housing so that seniors do not feel as though their only viable option to find sustainable, safe and secure housing is to avail themselves of assisted living, rest homes, or nursing homes.”
Councilor Annissa Essaibi George agreed there needs to be more options for seniors when it comes to housing.
“We need to do a better job to make sure we are inclusive in terms of housing,” she said.
However, she objected to the language used in the hearing order, especially when depicting those who have addiction issues.
“It’s important to recognize that people with substance use disorders are people of all kinds including our seniors,” she said. “Every person deserves our respect and safe housing.”
A future hearing will be scheduled and representatives from the Boston Housing Authority, the Age Strong Commission, Health and Human Services, and other interested parties will be invited to attend.