Assisted living facility must maintain services ahead of closure

Some residents think owner plans to sell Prospect Park Residence to developer

Residents of Prospect Park Residence, a Brooklyn assisted living facility slated to close in September, successfully secured a court order requiring the facility to maintain its essential services while residents search for a new place to live.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Wayne Saitta extended a temporary restraining order that called for the facility’s ownership to continue providing care as it moves forward with a plan to close the property in June. The order was issued in response to a resident lawsuit filed in May that sought to halt the 139-bed facility’s closure.

“The decrease in services has caused severe harm,” Jason Johnson, one of the attorneys representing a group of residents who filed the suit, told Judge Saitta. “The landlords are not sufficiently providing the help and support that these vulnerable plaintiffs need to find alternative accommodations to fit their needs.”

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The group’s suit charged that the Department of Health erred in approving the facility’s closure plan, which was announced in March along with the news that residents had 90 days to move. The suit, which also accused the residence operator of cutting back on essential services and not helping residents find new housing, aimed to force the DOH to keep Prospect Park Residence open, at least temporarily.

Around 120 people lived in the assisted living facility at 1 Prospect Park West until residents began moving out in late April, according to reports at the time. Those who remain suspect that the owner, Haysha Deitsch, plans to sell the property to a developer looking to convert the building into luxury apartments. Deitsch, however, has not made any such plans public. [NYDN]Julie Strickland