Legislature approves Pioneer Home rate increases

Legislators have approved a bill boosting the cost of Pioneer Home rates that cannot exceed the annual Social Security cost of living adjustment, while raising the amount of income residents may keep for incidental and personal expenses.

House Bill 96, was approved 19-0 in the Senate and 33-0 in the House on Tuesday, March 24, then went to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s desk to await his signature.

Key sponsors include Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, and in the House Rep. Zack Fields, D-Anchorage.

“For over a century, Alaska’s Pioneer Homes have provided basic housing for our elders – the men and women who’ve dedicated their lives to building this state,” Giessel said.

Our elders deserve affordable housing where they can spend their advanced years near their loved ones – their kids, grandkids, friends and neighbors, in the state they call home,” she said.

“Keeping Alaska’s Pioneer Homes affordable is imperative for the health and mental wellbeing of our elders, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” Fields said.

“Our seniors have spent their lives building Alaska, and we owe it to them to ensure a high quality of life as they age,” he said.