The Land and Health ministries will institute a 30 percent reduction in rent for office space in governmental housing complexes used by nonprofit organizations that provide local nursing-care services, ministry officials said Thursday.
The decision, made by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry and the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is aimed at bringing accessible nursing care services to residents of facilities run by the government’s Urban Development Corporation by putting vacant facilities into commercial use, the officials said.
The first such office will be opened in July at an apartment complex in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, by an organization called Yasuragi-no-machi, which provides nursing-care services for visitors and commuters.
Monthly rent for the Funabashi offices is expected to be less than 300,000 yen for two facilities with a combined floor space of 129 sq. meters.
According to the ministries, NPOs that apply for rent reductions should provide nursing-care services, serve the public welfare and be apolitical. They should also be able to pay for interior work at the facilities, the ministries said.
Construction of apartment complexes by the UDC peaked in the 1960s and 1970s — a period of high economic growth in Japan. There are 2 million people living in 750,000 apartments of this kind across the country.
The average age of the residents is rising rapidly, with 13.5 percent of residents aged 65 or older in 1995, up from 7.9 percent in 1990, according to the UDC.
Under the state-run nursing-care insurance system that was launched last year, people aged 65 or older and their families can choose whether to receive support at home or at a facility on a contractual basis.
The system is the fifth kind of public social-security system being used in Japan, following insurance programs that cover medical needs, pensions, unemployment and compensation for workers’ accidents.
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