More affordable senior housing is on its way

The problem with building affordable senior housing has always been that it hasn't been economically compelling for for-profit developers and housing managers, and non-profit entities could never get enough government or institutional funding to make a real impact on the enormous need.

But affordable senior housing is the wave of the future because there is no viable alternative to housing aging baby boomers en masse. Many seniors are living solely on their monthly social security checks, the average amount of which is $1,500. 

With the average monthly cost of an apartment in an independent living community being over $2500, that doesn’t leave much anything for "luxury" items, like food and utilities. 

If you want to live with your children, and your children want you to live with them, then you may not need to concern yourself with this. (Again, we are talking here about independent living. If you need some type of ongoing care, the cost and the accommodations are somewhat different.)

But, there does seem to be help on the way. More and more real estate development and management companies, such as Greystone, have evolved the expertise to make affordable senior housing profitable for them, and a rewarding experience for their residents.

Additionally, there are new initiatives are being advanced in various locations. For example:

in Atlanta

Mercy Park represents a creative approach to mission-based, not-for-profit development on a four-acre site with a 45,000 square foot Mercy Care health clinic, and a 79-unit senior housing development for seniors over the age of 62.

in Bloomington

The first tenants of the former Bloomington High School building in downtown Bloomington began moving in a couple of weeks ago, following a $17 million renovation …into the Washington Senior Apartments that includes 58 units for people 55 and older. The company will lease space to commercial and nonprofit users on the first floor.

in Sonoma, CA

The new Siesta Senior Apartments …is a 100-percent affordable 92-unit multifamily senior housing development of units averaging 526 square feet on a 2.29-acre parcel.…The development will consist of a single three-story building, with elevators, solar panels, 95 parking spaces, a club room, lobby, exercise stations and other outdoor communal areas.

Affordable senior housing is becoming more prevalent because there is a rapidly expanding market demand. It may take a few more years for the supply to catch up, but we are finally heading in the right direction.