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Rivington House Nursing Facility is Closing in November

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Rivington House, 45 Rivington St.  Photo via Eden, Janine and Jim's flickr.
Rivington House, 45 Rivington St. Photo via Eden, Janine and Jim’s flickr.

Rivington House, one of the city’s largest nursing home for AIDS patients, has announced it is closing in November. The news was first reported in the Crain’s Health Pulse newsletter (subscription required).

According to the story, the facility has been “nearly half-empty for at least two years, a testimony to the advances in medicine that have let those afflicted with AIDS live longer.”   Rivington House is operated by VillageCare, a not-for-profit organization with four other chronic care facilities in Manhattan.

The 206-bed Lower East Side center opened in 1995.  About 100 residents are being transferred to other facilities and 231 staff members are expected to lose their jobs.  More from the article:

“This was a tough decision,” a spokesman for Rivington House, which tried to convert its specialty nursing home license to one for a general population. But as state policy now emphasizes delivering more long-term care services outside of institutions, Rivington House instead filed a closure plan three months ago. The state Department of Health approved the plan on July 16. Despite the loss of jobs, the closure is in many ways a “success story,” said the spokesman. Many people with AIDS today “live long, productive and healthy lives. They can be cared for in a variety of settings, just as anyone else with a chronic disease. Simply put, the need for a single-purpose skilled nursing facility like Rivington House that segregates AIDS patients is long past,” Rivington House wrote to staff and residents on Friday.

VillageCare says it hasn’t decided what to do with its Rivington Street building.  The five-story Romanesque Revival-style structure, designed by architect C.B.J. Snyder, is the former home of P.S. 20. It was built in 1898 and consumes an entire city block. The article noted that the property is worth millions and that a sale could help VillageCare support its programs elsewhere in the city.  45 Rivington is not a landmark-protected building.


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  1. Many of our long time neighbors, friends and colleagues are losing their jobs. 100 neighbors who live in Rivington House are losing their homes.
    This is the habit in our city of late. The idea that people who are in care, vulnerable to the pressures of rigged “market forces” can be moved, like some kind of furniture, as if they have no roots, as if they have no right to home.
    There will be tremendous pressure to sell to high end developers.
    But this could be a senior assisted living facility or nursing home. Since we lost Cabrini and Bialystoker these past years our elders have no where to go to age in place.
    Are/were options other than the general license explored by VillageCare – whose website says, “They never forget you, they keep their promise.” Is this connected to the SEIU protests in June?

  2. This certainly could be converted to another elder care or nursing home. Not another high priced condo.

  3. Gorgeous building but I am absolutely sickened to think of what developer hell could happen here.

  4. Yes, this should be a new Cabrini! So people don’t get forced to be in nursing care many miles from their hood.

  5. Totally agree. I’ve live in the nabe all my life, and if this building can’t be something helpful for the community or help others, don’t turn it into housing that only rich foreigners or people making 7 digit salaries can afford.

  6. “as state policy now emphasizes delivering more long-term care services outside of institutions”
    This is a complex issue, involving the political fortunes of governors, profit- driven health care providers and their lobbyists, and union reps. Bottom line: the issue of why nursing homes cannot afford to operate within the strictures of current impossible budget cuts that hurt the poorest among us (while the very very wealthy do better and better) has to be addressed, no, solved. Societies are judged by how they treat their most vulnerable citizens – and this one is looking pretty callous and shitty.
    Sooner or later, if we live long enough, everyone will need care as an elder. How is that care is going? As of 2013:

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