Chris King: Nursing home tragedy must spur senior housing talks – Florida Politics (blog)
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King is waiting like everyone else for investigative findings about why eight seniors were tragically left to die in a powerless Broward County nursing home in Hurricane Irma’s wake, but as an operator of senior housing facilities he said Friday it’s past time to talk about what to do long term.
King’s Winter Park-based Elevation Financial Group owns or operates numerous senior affordable housing centers in five states including Florida. He has made affordable housing and senior care programs focal points of his campaign since he entered the race for the Democratic nomination in early March.
On Friday, King visited two of the centers his company operates in Orlando and Sanford to meet with residents and staff about how they weathered the storm. Then, in an interview with FloridaPolitics.com, King lashed out over what he described as longtime state neglect of senior housing concerns that he said could have contributed the tragedy at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills Wednesday morning.
“The Broward tragedy I think is another example exposing what I hope I’m getting across throughout the state, which is for a very long time there’s been very little leadership on housing and on aging issues,” King said.
“My concern is less on what happened in Broward and more the decision making that created that environment, and why we’re still not out of the woods in the larger issues of housing and aging, and why the state is in an absolute crisis,” he added.
King faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham in seeking the Democratic nomination for 2018 election. The leading Republicans are Florida Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam and state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater.
“For two decades we have had no commitment to housing, to housing excellence, to housing