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Costs Of Rebuilding Huge Nursing Home Continue To Climb
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 16, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--The costs associated with rebuilding San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital continue to mount as city leaders consider whether to change their plans in favor of smaller, community-based alternatives.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the city supervisors' Budget and Finance Committee is considering a request to hike architects' fees by $1.1 million. The entire budget for design work is expected to reach $37 million before the project is completed.

Six years after voters approved a $299 million bond measure to rebuild the huge nursing home, the costs have jumped by an additional $200 million. Later this year, city officials are to decide whether to replace the existing facility on the same site, or opt for smaller facilities.

The 136-year-old Laguna Honda Hospital is the oldest nursing facility in California. With 1,200 beds, it is the largest publicly owned nursing home in the United States.

In July 2000, a group of Laguna Honda residents sued San Francisco and several state agencies, claiming the agencies violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the Nursing Home Reform Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, by not providing community-based services for those who want to live in their own homes. The lawsuit cited the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, which ruled that unnecessarily institutionalizing people with disabilities is a form of discrimination.

In October 2001, approximately 600 disability rights activists from ADAPT and other groups from around the nation gathered in San Francisco to protest the plans to rebuild the aging facility.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in May 2003 that the city and county of San Francisco are violating the rights of people housed at Laguna Honda by not providing them with the choice to live in the community.

"Laguna Honda Hospital -- Largest Nursing Home In US" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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