Thursday, August 15, 2019

Demand Growing for Affordable Senior Housing in Rural Areas

Millennials aren’t the only segment of the population having a hard finding affordable housing, especially in high density areas. Seniors are also having the same problem.

As more and more Baby Boomers begin looking for affordable places to call home in retirement, many are finding they cannot afford market rate independent living, assisted living or memory care.

They are finding affordable senior housing especially hard in low-density areas where they grew up, raised their families and know just about everybody in the area.

Having worked and volunteered in small towns and cities under 30,000, they want to stay there. Most seniors that are downsizing don’t want to be forced to move in with their children and their families.

For country born and raised seniors, there are very few if any affordable 55+ communities in their neck of the woods. They are either forced to move into areas of town reserved for Section 8 because the rents are affordable or give up a lot of necessities in order to afford senior living housing.

Developers that see big city as the place to build affordable senior living rarely want to invest in building out a 40-60 unit building in smaller towns simply because they either didn’t know it was needed or they couldn’t justify the cost of such a small project in such a rural setting.

For modular home builders, this could be a real wake up call to generate more sales, either by teaming up with a local monied investor and acting as their GC or doing it themselves by purchasing a small parcel of land with public utilities available and using modular construction to build out a well designed but affordable senior community of 20-30 homes.

Builders could work with current assisted living facilities to provide turnkey homes for them in rural areas.

Once you get away from either the West or East Coast regions and begin moving inland, there are many small areas that need affordable senior housing.

Nearly one-third of households age 65 or older spend at least 30% of their income for housing, and more than half of that total pay over 50%.

Affordable senior housing is NOT low income senior housing which is what HUD’s Section 202 addresses.

Find a way to give those average seniors in low-density areas a rent between $950 and $1,100 a month with no yard maintenance and the seniors will beat a path to your door.


Bill Hart said...

Gary, one of the more exciting build for rent, i.e. SFR( single family rentals ) sites I've researched, uncovered is located in Hermitage, PA n/o Pittsburgh s/o Erie. I have... not... been on that particular site, however I have followed their progress from before the shovel hit, thru planning and approval stages to completion now on yet another WODA Cooper's similarly structured sites; another very rural site, their fourplex PHFA project called Muncy Greene, obvious in Muncy PA. Seems one of the minimal keys is of course, to build enough units in one place that you can readily budget, afford the costs of a fulltime resident site manager AND a fulltime site maintenance manager. I have more info on this growing to us here.. SFR tract phenomenon's grown from west (see both Meyers and Burns studies).. to east so if someone needs same, email me at With a recession now obviously pertaining in our future, its best to think how this SFR thing might be a savior for some of here in mod valley.

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