Key West needs more and better care facilities for its senior citizens. This blog will discuss ways to do so. The grandiose give-away promoted by the "Florida Keys Assisted Care Coalition" is not the best way. We can do much better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Citizen Letter to the Editor (November 18, 2007)

Add affordable assisted units to senior facility proposal

Last month the voters in Key West approved a referendum to allow a 99 year lease on property at the Truman Waterfront for a facility for seniors. The referendum was rigorously promoted by the Florida Keys Assisted Care Coalition (FKACC), who promoted a plan that was heavy on subsidizing (by providing free land to) the wealthy wishing to get into a nice retirement home but light on providing actual affordable assisted care.

It's not too late to guide this plan back on track toward providing more support for the average citizens of Key West. The development is about be put into the "request for proposal" (RFP) process to invite developers to submit plans for the development. The developers' proposals must met the RFP that the City will issue. How that RFP is written is the key.

Our job is to demand that the city, while writing the RFP, must fix the problems with the plan that the FKACC has been trying to slip by us. They want to include 87 expensive retirement homes (some worth over $1M) for people who can still drive and work, but only 20 affordable rooms for those actually needing assisted care. (They also include 20 more MARKET RATE assisted units that few average Key Westers would be able to afford). This imbalance must be corrected in the RFP process.

See for the full background on the problems with the current plan if you haven't kept up with the issues involved. And please attend next week's City Commission meeting and/or let your commissioners know that they must take off the blinders and look closer at what the FKACC is trying to pull off.

Take back the Truman Waterfront!

David Lybrand
Key West


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