A Senate committee on Tuesday vowed to put an end to unlicensed assisted living facilities after a Miami Herald story revealed that homes have been using loopholes to escape state scrutiny.
The Herald story uncovered facilities that billed themselves as shelters, rooming houses or “sober homes”, but in actuality operated as ALFs. Many had deplorable conditions and at least one owner had a criminal history.
“I want to be equipped to go into those bad actors and shut them down now,” said Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, at a meeting of the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla , R-Coral Gables, said that a lack of resources or funds shouldn't be an excuse to regulate the industry, which cares for roughly 80,000 residents.
"This has to be a priority to shut down unlicensed facilities as a public health hazard as a clear and present danger to the living conditions of a human being," Diaz de la Portilla said. "If there isn't money in the budget, then we need to find it."