New law provides for senior citizen housing task force

Sen. Amanda Shelton (PNC file photo)

Senator Amanda Shelton’s bill to establish the Senior Citizen Housing Task Force was signed into law.

So what does Senator Shelton plan to do to house our manamko?

Shelton told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo this morning that the task force’s mission is to explore long term solutions for senior citizen housing.

She said the task force will assess senior housing needs as well as the availability of affordable housing.

After assessing various approaches, including private-public partnerships, the task force will give recommendations to the executive and legislative branches.

Some may wonder why such a task force is needed when GHURA already has elderly housing properties such as Guma Trankilidat.

Shelton says the task force has a variety of stakeholders, including representatives from the Guam Housing Corporation, the Guam Association of Realtors as well as representatives from the senior citizen community.

She says this is the first time a group was formed to do a truly in-depth study on the matter.

She also says she expects the task force to work quickly to meet its mandate of presenting its recommendations 18 months after forming.

Shelton says the issue is especially important now that social changes have made it less likely that the elderly will be taken care of by relatives at home.

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“I know a lot of people in our community recognize that taking care of our elders is a blessing. Just to be able to spend a lot of time with them in their golden years and care for them. To give back the same way they gave to us. To raise us. And that really is a privilege, I think, for myself and an experience that I had, and many people had,” the senator said.

She added: “It’s part of our culture. And so we want to help continue that and this is just a different way to continue that and to adapt to the changes in our society now. And to make sure our saina are taken care of, and they’re able to live out their lives with dignity.”

Senator Shelton said she expects the task force to be empaneled in February.