After a Year of Talks, Lifespace and SQLC Execute Affiliation Agreement

Iowa-based Lifespace Communities and Texas-based Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC) have executed on the affiliation agreement they first proposed about a year ago.

Under the agreement, Lifespace is slated to become the owner and operator of three SQLC communities in Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth, Texas, once regulatory hurdles are cleared. Lifespace will also bring under its umbrella SQLC’s management company, Seniority, Inc.

Three other communities operated by SQLC are not included in the agreement. The announcement released Friday by the companies does not state whether those communities would be transitioned to new operators or if SQLC will continue to manage them.


A Lifespace Communities representative did not elaborate on the agreement when reached by Senior Housing News Friday afternoon.

Lifespace is set to own and operate 15 communities in eight states once the dust settles. The Iowa organization was the 11th largest senior living nonprofit in the country, according to the 2018 LeadingAge Ziegler 200, while SQLC took the no. 31 spot with six communities.

If current totals hold, the new deal would place Lifespace within the top 10 for the next year’s ranking.


The affiliation agreement comes at a moment of flux for Lifespace with the departure of former CEO Sloan Bentley in February. The nonprofit named then-CFO Larry Smith as interim president and CEO and began a search for a new leader shortly thereafter.

The affiliation will have benefits for the new organization’s employees and residents alike, according to Paula Shives, who chairs Lifespace’s board of directors.

“As a stronger, more diversified system, we can leverage a broader network of resources and talent to provide exceptional services to a greater number of older adults and families,” Shives stated in a press release. “From an operations perspective, this undoubtedly strengthens all of the communities and supports the shared mission of our organizations to celebrate the lives of seniors.”

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Senior housing nonprofits are finding across the board that they need to find ways to join forces in order to thrive — sometimes even simply survive — amid current industry headwinds. Since 2010, 568 not-for-profit senior housing communities have changed owners or sponsors, according to recent data from Ziegler Investment Banking.

Lifespace and SQLC are one of many nonprofits that have pondered affiliation agreements in recent months. For instance, Presbyterian Senior Living and Westminster Communities of Florida are currently considering a merger that would result in a combined not-for-profit organization with 54 communities.

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