Sponsored by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and Miguel Santiago, AB 279 was inspired by seniors and families who are fighting against evictions at the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. The international developer owners, Pacifica Companies, seeks to empty the building to convert it to high-rent, market-rate housing. Furthermore, they are proposing to send the seniors to facilities such as a skilled nursing facility (SNF) they manage, Kei-Ai Los Angeles, that is currently number one such facility in the state for cumulative COVID-19 Deaths. Sakura ICF, conversely has been kept 100% COVID-19 free and it is the only bilingual/bi-cultural service facility of its kind for Japanese Americans in the U.S.
AB 279 will protect seniors at ALL ICF’s and SNF’s in CA, prohibiting such facilities from terminating, transferring, or significantly altering the conditions of residential care services during the State of California’s COVID-19 state of emergency period.