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  • Libby Laguta, CHID, EDAC

Needed: New Housing Model for Middle Income Seniors

So, if a senior over 65 cannot care for his or herself, the private pay community option is always available, right? Wrong.


Within the next 10 years, there is a missing source of housing for seniors who do not qualify for HUD and who do not have the income or savings for private pay communities. This generation also had less children and subsequently, there is a shortage of caregivers. On whom are they to depend then?


I listened to a webinar this week by NIC entitled, "The New Growth Opportunity: Senior Housing for the Forgotten Middle" and the facts are staggering. By 2029, the US will be 700,000 short on available housing for the middle income senior.


By 2035, the over 65 demographic will outnumber those under the age of 18. It would seem that developers would be interested in housing for the middle income senior. They, however, are fixated on the upper income senior willing to pay north of $5,000 per month to live in a CCRC community or a life care community. Meanwhile, there is a growing census of those over 65 who need alternatives to this model of housing.

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In Portland, Oregon, there are zoning allowances for "Accessory Dwelling Units" on existing properties. Families can build what equates to a tiny house in their back yard for Grandma to function independently while joining the family for meals. Grandma is sometimes within 20 feet of help if a need arises.


I love it!


Perhaps there are other options such as co-housing communities or Nana could share her house with another senior to lessen costs. I suggest that there are options and given the short time frame to bring a solution to fruition, we need to get moving.


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