City of Mesa is adopting a 2003 Fire Code that violates Federal Law by ignoring Reasonable Accommodation Requests from Older Adults with disabilities who are requesting to stay in their Assisted Living Home and undermine state law that licensed these home for 10 beds abd Directed Care? During each Assisted Living Home Fire Inspection they are being told they are not in compliance because they have Residents who cannot Exit in an Emergency without Assistance even if they are on ALTCS a Federally Funded Program.

Will these Older Adults be Institutionalized?

Older Disabled Adult (Bed Bound), Male evicted in 2020 out of a 10 bed Assisted Living Home.

ALH forced to change license to personal care.

Name: Geraldine

Older Disabled Adult (bed bound), residing in a 10 bed Assisted Living Home since 2017.

ALH says; If they don’t ask Geraldine to move by September 4, 2021 to be compliant with City codes they will face Criminal Citations.

“Why do I have to Up and Move? My children all live around me. I don’t think this is reality, because I am not going to move” -Geraldine

Name: Jack

Older Disabled Adult (bed bound), residing in a 10 bed Assisted Living Home for 7 years. Retired Army Major

ALH has been given notice from Mesa Fire Department they are no longer complaint because of Jack.

“Why am I being punished? I feel Safe

*City of Mesa said “We have always enforced these codes”. But for years all 10 bed facilities in Arizona haven’t failed their fire Fire inspections due to having a Resident who cannot exit in an Emergency without Assistance. AZDHS has also passed inspections if the Resident has request for accommodation completed.

Requests for Meetings Ignored or Refused

-City Mayor, City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Zoning, Planning, Fire Department, City Councilmembers, City Attorney’s Office

*Multiple cases have been reported to Arizona Center for Disability Law, Attorney Generals Office, APS, Ombudsman, AZ Governor.

Read Definitions between State Law & Codes HERE

Request for Reasonable Accommodation

Currently in Arizona the Residency Authorization Form is signed by the Resident or Resident Representative requesting reasonable accommodation by the Assisted Living Home and Resident’s Primary Care Physician examines the resident at the onset of the condition, or within 30 days of acceptance, and at least every 6 months throughout the duration of the resident’s condition, reviews the facilities scope of practice, signs and dates a determination that the resident’s needs can be met by the facility, and the resident’s service plan is revised to include the residents increased need for care. 

Prohibiting any older adult from living in an Assisted living Home who cannot exit in an emergency without any assistance will NEVER allow an Older Adult to Age in Place. This is telling the Older Adult with Disabilities that they cannot choose where they want to live. This is also causing transitional trauma that will result in DECLINE and DEATH to hundreds of Older Adults with Disabilities in Arizona. Any provision that prohibits a person to remain in Assisted Living who is confined to a chair or a bed because of an inability to ambulate is a clear violation of the ADA

  • The FHAct prohibits municipalities and other local government entities from making zoning or land use decisions or implementing land use policies that exclude or otherwise discriminate against individuals protected by fair housing law, whether intentionally or by discriminatory effect. 
  • The FHAct also requires municipalities and local governments to make reasonable accommodations to zoning and land use rules, policies, practices and procedures as necessary to provide an individual with a disability equal housing access. 

The Fair Housing Act

“Arizona law protects your right to have a place to live and makes it unlawful for any person to discriminate in connection with housing because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or physical or mental disability.”

The Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against applicants or residents because of their disability or the disability of anyone associated with them and from treating persons with disabilities less favorably than others because of their disability. The Act also makes it unlawful for any person to refuse “to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford person(s) [with disabilities] equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” The Act also prohibits housing providers from refusing residency to persons with disabilities, or placing conditions on their residency, because those persons may require reasonable accommodations.

Courts have also applied the Act to state and local governments, most often in the context of exclusionary zoning or other land-use decisions.

Aging in Place

If Assisted Living Residents can be forced to move, then it undermines the whole concept of aging in place. We believe The City of Mesa’s action prohibits their right to choose housing and to Age in Place.

Transitional Trauma

We believe The City of Mesa’s action will bring harm even death to Older Adults with disabilities living in Assisted Living by forcing them to move to higher level of care due to transitional trauma.


Cases are above 1700 a day in the state of Arizona. Forcing an Older Adult to move out of Assisted Living into a Skilled Nursing Facility will be faced with a lot of opposition from the Residents and their loved ones. During the pandemic Assisted Living Homes were able to minimize the outbreak on COVID-19. Many Senior Living Facilities are not accepting new residents due to the substantial case amount and the Delta Variant.

Housing Options (City of Mesa provided no Housing Assistance)

  • Residents with no Families may end up on the streets.
  • Assisted Living Homes will be forced to evict almost every Older Adult with Advanced Dementia, Mental & Physical Disabilities, and when they decline and need Hospice Services.

·       Residents who don’t qualify for ALTCS and are on fixed income cannot afford Assisted Living Centers & Skilled Nursing Facilities.

·       Families will be forced to quit their jobs and care for their loved ones.

  • Families will most likely sue the City of Mesa due to the inability to find housing, inability to care for their loved ones and decline and death of loved ones due to transitional trauma. 
  • A Skilled Nursing Facility is an Institution not a Home or Residential Setting.

Mesa Population (3rd largest city in Arizona)

538,146 Total Population in Mesa

82,100 are seniors

22,742 (27,7% Old age dependency ratio)

Total Housing Capacity across the Continuum of Care (Residential 5017 + Long Term Care 1491 = 6508) not including Group Homes /Developmentally Disabled (DD), Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFIID) or Behavioral Health Supportive Homes.

Senior Living Communities in Mesa

1 Adult Foster Care Home with an overall capacity of 4

6 Adult BH Therapeutic Home with an overall capacity of 17

154 Assisted Living Homes with an overall capacity 1233

42 Assisted Living Centers with an overall capacity 3104

89 Group Homes (DD) overall capacity is unknown

11 Skilled Nursing Facilities/Nursing Home with an overall capacity 1491 (out of which many are rehab not long term care)

International Fire Codes (pertaining to R4 Zoning)

Assistance with day-to-day living tasks; such as assistance with cooking, taking medication, bathing, using toilet facilities and other tasks of daily living. Custodial care includes persons receiving care who have the ability to respond to emergency situations and evacuate at a slower rate and/or who have mental and psychiatric complications. 

No Due Process

Assisted Living Homes and Residents in Mesa would like to request a Public Meeting. They don’t believe they received appropriate notice, opportunity for hearing, confrontation and cross-examination, discovery, basis of decision, and availability of counsel.

To date who has been contacted or copied in this email and regarding this matter. 

Adult Protective Services, American Seniors Housing Association, Area Agency on Aging, Arizona Assisted Living Federation of Arizona, Arizona Assisted Living Homes Association, Arizona Center for Disability Law (open cases), Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Department of Veterans Services, Arizona LeadingAge, Assisted Living Homes Organization, Foundation of Senior Living, INtouch Senior Services, House of Representatives District 5, Long Term Care Ombudsman, Mesa Assistant Fire Marshal Kevin Bush, Mesa City Manager Chris Brady, Mesa Development Services, Deputy Director John Sheffer, Mesa Development Services, Director Christine Zielonka, Mesa Housing Authority, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Mesa Planning Director/Zoning Administrator Nana Appiah, Mesa Principal Planner Rachel Prelog, National Placement & Referral Alliance (AZ Chapter PASRS), Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers Board, Department of Justice, Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Residential Assisted Living National Association, Romanian American Chamber of Commerce, CDC

Ligia Ilea-Naik 
| 480-550-2408 |

Aging Specialist, Healthcare Lobbyist INtouch Senior Services

VP, Arizona Assisted Living Homes Association 

President Romanian American Chamber of Commerce 

Volunteer Case Management Society of Arizona

Kerry Halcomb | 602-910-1737 |

Administrator, PT | Advisa Care

Aging Specialist | INtouch Senior Services

President , Case Management Society of Arizona

Board Member | Area Agency on Aging

Board Member Arizona Assisted Living Homes Association

Board Member Arizona Association of Home Care

VP Romanian American Chamber of Commerce 

623-201-85453143 E Greenway Road Suite 801 Phoenix, Arizona

Author: Ligia

Aging Specialist

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