Home Real Estate Real Estate Trends In The Senior Housing Sector – Real Estate

Real Estate Trends In The Senior Housing Sector – Real Estate

by Kianna Warburton

The Future of Senior Housing: Emerging Trends and Strategies

As the older population continues to grow, many communities are faced with the challenge of providing adequate housing and care for seniors. Recognizing this trend, municipalities have begun to develop strategies to better facilitate senior housing and provide more options for seniors to age with dignity in their communities.

Several emerging trends in senior housing intersect with other land-use trends, creating unique opportunities for development. These trends include removing barriers to entering single-family neighborhoods, repurposing and replacing commercial buildings, collocating with public facilities, and strategically navigating community stakeholders. By understanding and capitalizing on these trends, communities can better meet the evolving needs of their older residents.

One emerging trend in senior housing is the desire for housing and services in a non-institutional environment. Seniors often prefer to downsize to a townhouse-style home with an elevator or a small one-level patio home instead of an apartment-style building. These communities aim to provide the same level of services expected in a typical independent or assisted living facility, such as transportation, meals, medical care, and recreational opportunities. However, local zoning ordinances may not always define this type of age-restricted, non-apartment-style community, so it is crucial to navigate local codes to meet the demand for such housing.

Another trend in senior housing is the opportunity for building repositioning. With the growing issue of office vacancy, there is potential to repurpose empty office buildings into senior housing units. This adaptive reuse of buildings has been well-received by stakeholders and offers a solution for meeting the demand for senior housing while utilizing existing infrastructure. However, converting office space into suitable senior housing units requires careful consideration of design and regulations. Local policies and restrictions may need to evolve to streamline these adaptive reuse opportunities.

Similar to building repositioning, there are also ground-up opportunities for senior housing through building replacement. Obsolete existing commercial buildings or underutilized commercial areas can be transformed into senior housing developments. However, there may be challenges related to legal restrictions and concerns about compatibility within commercial areas. Integrating elements of affordability, pedestrian connectivity, and environmental benefits can help these projects succeed and gain support from the community.

Incentivized local zoning approaches have gained momentum at various levels of government to increase the production of housing, including affordable and senior housing. Creative incentives, such as collocating senior housing with public facilities or removing policy and zoning barriers for accessory dwelling units, can encourage the development of senior housing. Tax incentives, such as relief from property taxes or low-income housing tax credits, can also facilitate the financing and delivery of senior housing developments.

However, the development of senior housing can face opposition in the form of “Not-In-My-Backyard” (NIMBY) sentiments. It is important to note that senior housing developments have different impacts compared to traditional residential development, such as minimal impact on schools and the road network. Leveraging local housing advocates and understanding the political landscape and community dynamics is crucial to overcome NIMBY opposition.

In conclusion, the future of senior housing involves utilizing emerging trends and strategies to meet the evolving needs of older populations. By providing housing and services in a non-institutional environment, repurposing and replacing buildings, and incentivizing development through creative zoning approaches, communities can create inclusive and age-friendly environments for their older residents. A deep understanding of local regulations, community dynamics, and political landscape is essential for successful senior housing development.

Please note that the content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and that specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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