A number of recent studies have highlighted the alarming lack of affordable housing for senior citizens in the U.S.
One recent study, by Make Room, a rental advocacy group, shows that the percentage of seniors who require affordable housing is steadily increasing at a rate faster than the general increase in senior’s population. That study shows that seniors (defined as those aged 65 years or older) rose in number by almost 25 percent from 2005 to 2014 (up to 28.1 million from 22.5 million). In addition, the number of seniors who’re shelling out more than half their income before tax on rent and utilities has grown by 34 percent over the same period, Make Room’s study shows.
One problem is that numerous senior’s communities in the U.S. are already at full capacity, with lengthy waiting lists for residents who’d like to move into one.
“A lot more could be done,” says Daryl Carter, chairman and CEO of Avanath Capital Management, an investment firm. “We should be able to triple the $6.5 billion that we currently spend on the tax credit program. There’s just simply not enough assistance to address the affordable needs we have in this country.”
Ron Mehl, a senior housing developer with Minneapolis firm Dominium, said the available supply of senior housing was inadequate, despite the extremely high demand.
“Some states get it, but others are not putting the tax credits out there,” Mehl told National Real Estate Investor. “It’s just so difficult to keep with demand, but there’s such a demand out there. With tax credits, we can keep unit cost down to $900 per month, compared to the market rate of about $3,000 per month.”