Maintenance Problems Force Aloha House to Relocate

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

March 17, 2006

The Aloha House assisted living facility in Charlottesville is not closing its doors despite rumors, but its administrator says she's looking for another building because of current conditions.

The Aloha House took over their current building in 2001, and since then there has been problem after problem in terms of maintenance. Aloha House Director Banana Anderson says the owner won't fix it, so now she's looking for a new house.

When Anderson moved her assisted living facility, the Aloha House into the house on Ridge Street, she didn't know what she was in for. Later she realized the old building as she puts it is falling apart.

"The building has some wiring issues, it has some issues with the flooring," Anderson explained.

There are also problems with the plumbing and the fire alarm. Last year the Virginia Department of Social Services cited Anderson for some of the maintenance problems, but making the repairs falls on the owner, and he hasn't fixed them.

"I don't want to be his enemy or anybody else's enemy. That's not me. All I want to do is to take care of these people," said Anderson. "That's all I want, but if I can't do it here, I'll do it where ever I have too. "

Repair estimates on the house total hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has been up for sale for years, but no buyers yet. Most of the nearly 30 residents at the Aloha House are in transition and have nowhere else to go. That's why Anderson refuses to close her doors. Instead, she's looking for a new building where they can live peacefully without the headache of things breaking.

"It's not about me, it's about these people. And these people have nobody else. This is their home, [their] home away from home," said Anderson.

We we're unable to reach the owner Jasper Haynes. Anderson said she pays about $7,000 a month in rent, and that's too much for a place that needs so many repairs. She's hoping to move the facility within the next few months.

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