Chicago Tribune: Affordable Rental Buildings Fill the Senior Housing Gap

It’s becoming more and more difficult for seniors to find affordable housing, and retirement communities with high entrance fees aren’t viable options for many seniors.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Often living on fixed incomes, many seniors need an affordable apartment. But the demand for decent, low-cost places far exceeds the supply.

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The recent housing slump has boosted the demand for apartments for seniors. More than one out of every five renters is 55 or older, according to a recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Thirteen percent are over 65, a total of more than 5 million in 2009. As baby boomers age, the number of renters over 65 will increase in the next 10 years by nearly 2 million, the study says.

The need for low-cost apartments for seniors is growing. Government programs that help to finance the projects are under stress because of the economic downturn. Affordable projects are difficult to build too. Developers must assemble a complex assortment of subsidies and tax credits. Some towns object to affordable senior housing, fearing it could hurt property values or strain city services.

Despite these barriers, affordable apartments for seniors exist, and in Chicago, Ill., several projects are in the works.

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Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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