Gov. J.B. Pritzker at the Chicago Housing Authority Senior Gala

Gov. J.B. Pritzker at the Chicago Housing Authority Senior Gala

(The Center Square) – While Gov. J.B. Pritzker touted his accomplishments during an event that benefits senior citizens, one state lawmaker says Illinois is not doing enough. 

The Chicago Housing Authority held the event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wacker Drive in Chicago over the weekend. The annual gala focuses on affordable housing for seniors and others throughout the city and state. 

Pritzker spoke at the event and promised to continue working to prioritize senior care. 

"Over the past year, I have partnered with CHA to provide more than $137 million to help finance the creation and preservation of nearly 1,400 affordable housing apartments across Chicago," Pritzker said. "Many of those are set aside for seniors." 

Separately, state Rep. Charles Meier, R-Okawville, told The Center Square that while affordable housing placement helps, many state-run facilities for seniors and at-risk individuals are failing many residents. 

"We have a lot of good ones across the state of Illinois, but there are very horrible ones of those throughout the state, and I can raise all kinds of heck, but we still can't get anything done about the bad ones," Meier said. "I have problems with that." 

The state has faced several issues involving the care of its senior citizens in certain settings, including a COVID-19 breakout that resulted in 36 veterans dying at the LaSalle Veterans home in 2020.

Meier said that getting the proper care for long-term care facilities should be a priority. 

"A lot of these people, when they get the right care, begin to thrive," Meier said. "For that to happen, we got to get them the help they need." 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, over 50 facilities regulated by the state were cited for violations in the first quarter of 2022. 

Pritzker said his administration would continue to look to improve care for senior citizens. 

"I will continue to work to ensure that everyone in Illinois, especially our seniors, have a safe, healthy, affordable home," Pritzker said. 

Illinois has over 1,200 long-term care facilities serving more than 100,000 senior residents. The Illinois Department of Housing Services also received more than $18 million, which will go toward making more than 900 affordable and available units around the state.

Staff Reporter

Andrew Hensel reports on issues in Chicago and Statewide. He has been with The Center Square News since April of 2021 and was previously with The Joliet Slammers.