State Assisted Living Policy: 1998. District of Columbia



Community Residence Facilities: DC Law 5-48; DC Code § 32-1301 et seq.; Chapter 34, § 3400 et seq.

General Approach

A Long Term Care Coalition has been reviewing assisted living and is expected to make recommendations during 1998.


A facility providing safe, hygienic sheltered living arrangements for one or more individuals aged 18 years or older (except in the case of group homes for mentally retarded persons, no minimum age limitation shall apply), not related by blood or marriage to the residence director, who are ambulatory and able to perform the activities of daily living with minimal assistance. The definition includes facilities, including halfway houses and group homes for mentally retarded persons, which provide a sheltered living arrangement for persons who desire or require supervision or assistance within a protective environment because of physical, mental, familial, or social circumstances, or mental retardation. The definition does not include facilities providing sheltered living arrangements to persons who are in the custody of the Department of Corrections of the District of Columbia.

Unit Requirements

No more than 4 persons may share a bedroom. Minimum square footage and bathing and toilet facilities requirements are specified in the DC Housing Code (14 DCMR).

Tenant Policy

Prospective residents, the residence director and the resident's physician must agree that the prospective resident does not need professional care and can be assisted safely and adequately within a community residence facility. Residents must be able to perform ADLs with minimal assistance, generally be oriented as to person and place and capable of exercising proper judgement in taking action for self-preservation under emergency conditions. By special permission of the mayor, persons who are not generally oriented or who are substantially ambulatory but need minimal ADL assistance may be admitted if sufficient staff resources are available.


Meals, housekeeping, laundry, dietary services are provided. Short term nursing care, 72 hours, may be provided or arranged by the facility


Facilities must provide each resident a means of storing medications. Assisting with self-administration is listed as an activity of daily living.

Background Check

The licensing agency may conduct background checks on the licensee which include contacts with the police to determine criminal convictions.


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