How Affordable Independent Living Will Fare in 2017

The senior housing industry as a whole is seeing growth as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement. Still, senior housing isn’t expected to see as much of an uptick as other housing categories this year.

When it comes to growth in the next year, housing industry owners, developers and managers predict the largest surge will occur in the affordable multifamily housing sector. Coming in second was affordable independent living senior housing, according to the 2017 Housing Survey by Lancaster Pollard.

The survey included responses from 243 leaders in affordable and multifamily housing throughout the U.S. The majority (46%) of those surveyed develop, own or manage affordable multifamily housing, 31% are from affordable independent living senior housing, 17% are from market-rate multifamily housing and 6% are from market-rate independent living senior housing.

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Respondents predicted affordable multifamily housing will experience the most growth out of all four housing categories this year, the survey shows. Still, this year’s growth in affordable independent living senior housing is expected to outpace last year’s.

About 32% of those surveyed predicted affordable independent living would experience the most growth this year, versus only 23% who said that in 2016, according to the survey.

Which elements of housing do you think will experience the most growth in demand during the next 12 months in your market area(s)?

And when affordable senior living was compared to market-rate multifamily housing, affordable senior living had more positive results than last year.

“More respondents indicated they expect affordable IL to experience more growth in the coming year than market-rate multifamily housing, a reversal from last year,” Jeff Banker, co-author of the report and vice president with Lancaster Pollard, told Senior Housing News. “This is likely indicative of the desire to combine affordable tax credits with IL to provide affordable housing for an aging population as well as State QAP’s offering a separate elderly category.”

Planned Construction

Affordable multifamily housing also beat out affordable independent living senior housing in the category of planned construction projects in the next 12 months.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they had construction projects planned in the affordable multifamily housing category this year, and 26% said they had projects planned in the affordable independent living senior housing category.

For which of the following elements of housing do you have construction projects planned in the next 12 months?

Although affordable independent living senior housing came in second for construction projects planned, the sheer number of projects planned may spell good news for the industry, Padam Singh, co-author of the report and associate with Lancaster Pollard, explained to SHN.

“This demonstrates that the seniors market is a large and growing portion of the affordable housing industry in general and that the two overlap and will continue to do so going forward,” he said.

Written by Alana Stramowski

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