Pacifica Companies Contradicts Public Statement Issued on January 26, 2021 – Development of Plans to Move All Residents Out to Commence March 1, 2021
On Feb. 26, 2021, Pacifica Companies, international real estate developers and current owners of the facilities formerly known as Keiro Nursing and Retirement Homes, officially announced their intentions to begin ceasing of operations at the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights.
Previously on January 26, 2021, Pacifica Companies had issued a public statement stating, “None of the current residents of the ICF will be evicted. In light of the unprecedented healthcare crisis related to COVID-19 and its devastating impact on seniors, Pacifica is developing a plan to partner with residents, family members and the community to ensure the availability of necessary services and safe care options to meet the needs of the Sakura ICF seniors.”
It would appear as though Pacifica Companies is playing a game of semantics. In their notification sent to families of ICF residents they announced that they will begin plans to review “placement options” and the development of “transition plans“ for removal of all residents out of the ICF. In other words, “E-V-I-C-T-I-O-N-S.”
Just ten days after the 79th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which mandated the removal of over 110,000 Japanese Americans from their homes, plans to transfer all residents of the ICF, aged from their 80s into their 100s, out of the facility to make way for its conversion to a market-rate, high-rental income property that will commence on March 1, 2021.
To this day, the existence of essential bilingual and bi-cultural senior care facilities is critically lacking in the United States, which is the reason why Nisei founded these facilities 50 years ago. That Kei-Ai Los Angeles is being considered as a destination point for these seniors is disconcerting to the families, as that facility is number one in the state for cumulative COVID-19 deaths. Conversely, the administration of the ICF has been stellar at preventing any outbreaks of COVID-19.
The proposal to convert Sakura ICF to high-rent, market-rate housing was first introduced to the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Committee where it was soundly rejected, and also opposed by the Neighborhood Council itself. Pacifica Companies will appeal to Los Angeles City Council soon as it seeks approval from LA City Government.
Moving Seniors Remains Unsafe During Pandemic
Given the increasing presence of new mutations of the virus, there is no basis for families to feel comfortable with such a proposal, particularly when they are told that a possible transfer destination may be Kei-Ai Los Angeles, the skilled nursing facility also owned by Pacifica Companies, that is now the number one cumulative COVID-19 death facility for seniors in California. Again, that this action goes against Pacifica’s previously released press release on Jan. 26 has led some to speculate that Pacifica Companies is rushing to clear the building rather than risk the passage of CA Assembly Bill 279, which would it illegal to do so during the pandemic.
In the interests of supporting the community elders and their families, and in the face of inaction by organizations better equipped to do so financially, the all-volunteer Save Our Seniors Network (SOS) is hosting a “Know Your Rights” online workshop at 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday, March 2. Please help spread the word so that ALL families with members in any of these facilities can become informed of their legal rights. Information from qualified attorneys will be provided free of charge. Email an RSVP with “Know Your Rights Workshop” in the subject line with your name in the body of the email to: firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom login information.