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State Senate rejects bill that could prevent another Rivington House scandal

The Rivington Act would require stronger protections for community-based nursing homes

A bill that would help prevent the lose of care-providing facilities in communities has been rejected by the state Senate’s Health Committee, DNAinfo reports.

The Rivington Act was proposed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon in September 2016 amid the fallout of the sale of Rivington House, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS care provider, to a for-profit developer with plans to bring luxury condos to the site.

The bill would demand stronger protections for community-based nursing homes and would require the state Department of Health to determine that community needs could be met without the facility before it could be closed.

The act would also require the DOH to weigh input and suggestions from the community and local elected officials before signing off on the closure, and would order that a copy of the approved closure plan, including any adapted community input, be made viewable to the public online.

The bill was defeated after DOH committee chair state Sen. Kemp Hannon recommended a “no” vote. “I don’t think it's in anywhere near shape to possibly become law,” Hannon said on Thursday, noting that the committee would be receptive to discussion should the bill reappear, refined. A second vote will likely not occur on the bill in this legislative session, a spokesman for Squadron notes.

The state level isn’t the only place seeing legislation to block future Rivington House scandals. The City Council approved legislation in December 2016 that would require NYC mayors to directly sign off on any applications relating to the removal or the alteration of a deed restriction.

In addition, before applications come before the mayor, they’ll will be reviewed by the Citywide Administrative Services and a special committee. The former agency will also have to inform local elected officials and the community board and respond to community feedback during the process.

Rivington House

45 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002