By Phil Orlandella
Councilor Sal LaMattina has called for a public hearing related to the North End Nursing Home’s future.
Since Partners made public their intentions to relocate the nursing home residents to Brighton the North End/Waterfront community has rebelled against the idea and have a petition signed with over thousand names, picketed, placed signs and posters throughout the community and formed a steering committee, with several subcommittees to take on the issue from as many sides as possible.
The committee is also working with local elected officials and several non-profit community organizations like the North End/Waterfront Residents Association (NEWRA) that has sent a letter questioning the process.
Councilor LaMattina presented several reasons why a public hearing is necessary.
“There are two reasons why I feel the need to hold this hearing. First, we spent the better part of a year debating whether or not to extend the BRA’s Urban Renewal powers,” said LaMattina. “We ultimately decided that it was important to do so because of their land disposition agreement (LDA) powers,” he added. “There was some pushback about this from many of our constituents, in particular several of mine in the North End, where this nursing home is located,” he added.
“I feel that this is a golden opportunity for us to have the BRA explain what exactly the LDA’s are and how they can be helpful in this situation. This will be the first time in a long time that a situation has come into play which would trigger this type of conversation. Both the Council and the BRA agreed to be more transparent and maintain an open dialogue as part of this most recent Urban Renewal extension. Let us take this moment to capitalize on that and allow the BRA to explain in more detail,” the Councilor said.
“Secondly, and more importantly, I want to make sure that this building’s usage does not drastically change. While it might not be possible for it to remain a nursing home, I would like to see it remain as an assisted living facility or something similar which would be beneficial for the elderly and disabled along with their families. The current plan is to relocate all of the residents to Allston/Brighton. Needless to say that this is a huge inconvenience to them and their families and should be factored in to any decision making that Partners/Spaulding make along with the city,” LaMattina said.
“Whatever comes out of this hearing, I hope that we can devise some sort of plan that makes sense for all parties involved and does not rush these patients and their families out the door. I ask that we get moving on this and schedule a hearing quickly because time is of the essence,” he added.