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(a) There is hereby established a fund, which shall be called the Dignity Fund (“Fund”), to be administered by the Department of Disability and Aging Services (“DAAS”), or any successor agency. Monies in the Fund shall be used or expended by DAAS, subject to the budgetary and fiscal provisions of the Charter, solely to help Seniors and Adults with Disabilities secure and utilize the services and support necessary to age with dignity in their own homes and communities. For purposes of Section 16.128-1 through 16.128-12, “Senior” shall mean a person 60 years old or older, and “Adult with a Disability” shall mean a person 18 years old or older with a disability as defined under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
(b) The Dignity Fund is needed to ensure the health and well-being of Seniors and Adults with Disabilities for the following reasons:
(1) DAAS and the San Francisco Long Term Care Coordinating Council have advanced a vision and set of long-term goals that highlight best practices, strengthen access to services, coordinate across agencies and City departments, and develop a unified strategy.
(2) Important safety net services to Seniors and Adults with Disabilities such as adult day programs and/or other state-funded services directed to low-income populations have suffered significant losses in funding due in part to the reorganization of California’s health and long-term care services.
(3) San Francisco non-profit community based organizations are the City’s most valuable public assets in terms of supporting Seniors and Adults with Disabilities to age with dignity in their own homes and communities.
(4) Seniors and Adults with Disabilities are valuable contributors to the City’s vitality and must stay connected to friends and family who can help them age in place with dignity.
(5) Because a majority of the City’s Seniors and Adults with Disabilities live on fixed incomes, the growing economic divisions in the City are putting them increasingly at risk of poor health outcomes and institutionalization.
(6) San Francisco has the highest percentage of Seniors and Adults with Disabilities of any urban area in California and the number of Seniors continues to steadily increase, especially for those over the age of 85. Over 40% live alone with inadequate support networks, in part because their families have been forced to seek more affordable housing or employment elsewhere, or because they have no children or they lack supportive families.
(7) The constant increase in economic pressure and lack of support for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities has impacted the cultural and ethnic diversity of the City.
(8) As of 2015, over 19,200 people 55 years of age and older were living in San Francisco with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. This number is projected to increase to 26,868 by 2030 – a 40% increase in 15 years.
(9) Over 70% of veterans in the City are over the age of 55 and 28% of those have disabilities. As of 2015, 40% of all veterans rely on Veterans Administration health care with the remainder reliant on outside agencies to provide care, representing a massive undertaking by community based organizations.
(10) As of 2015, approximately 60% of people with HIV in San Francisco were over 50 years old. In 2020, it is estimated, 70% of people with HIV in San Francisco will be over 50 years old.
(11) In 2013, the Insight Center determined that a single person 65 years of age or older needed a monthly income of $2,526 to rent housing and meet his or her basic needs in San Francisco. At that time, the fair market rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,500 a month and 62% of all Seniors could not afford that rent. As of 2016, the fair market monthly rent for the same apartment is $1,635. Many apartments have higher rents. The median rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is now approximately $3,600 per month.
(Added by Proposition I, Approved 11/8/2016; Amended by Proposition B, Approved 11/5/2019)