New York City Commits $500 Million to Build Affordable Senior Housing

New York City has plans to build thousands of senior housing units on public land in an effort aimed at aiding the city’s low-income older adults.

As outlined in a recently agreed-to budget, the city will allocate $500 million for the construction of new affordable apartments on unused space at New York City Housing Authority developments, including parking lots and lawns, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The budget allocation will likely be enough to construct thousands of residences for seniors, and therefore help reduce the city’s public housing waitlist of more than 207,000 families. Still, housing advocates have hoped for four times that amount—$2 billion—to help build more than 15,000 apartments for seniors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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New York City is struggling with affordably housing its aging population, especially as the number of older adults in the city rapidly increases. Limited space for new development, coupled with skyrocketing real estate values, have only compounded the problem further.

That’s not to say investors aren’t eyeing The Big Apple for new private-pay senior housing projects. Major institutional private equity players such as Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors (KAREA) and Bridge Investment Group have raised billions of dollars to deploy in “gateway” cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., for example.

Additionally, Toledo, Ohio-based real estate investment trust Welltower (NYSE: WELL) and McLean, Virginia-based operator Sunrise Senior Living have partnered on a 15-story assisted living and memory care building in Manhattan, while Hunt Valley, Maryland-based REIT Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) is working with Westport, Connecticut-based operator Maplewood Senior Living on a 23-story independent living, assisted living and memory care building in the city.

And while some other smaller-scale senior housing projects are also moving forward in New York City, the number of seniors there is projected to grow 40% by 2040, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. That means demand for senior housing will likely remain high in the years to come.

Written by Tim Regan

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