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  • Karen Routt

The Silver Tsunami

Aging baby boomers still want it all, including luxe urban apartment living

As a segment of the growing senior population seeks upscale urban living, an affordability crisis looms

There is an enormity of senior housing challenges now and for years to come. The number of Americans over 80 will double in the next two decades, from 6 million to 12 million.

While a segment of the growing senior population seeks upscale urban living, another segment can’t even afford housing. Currently, the U.S. only serves about a third of adults 62 or older who qualify for housing and rental assistance.

A building boom is needed. While developers are eyeing the wealthier active seniors that want a new kind of urban living community, the general trend is toward increased suburbanization of the elderly population. We will have to confront the real estate issues posed by a growing suburban elderly population that is seeing decreasing wealth. The solution will require many changes to allow for senior affordable housing. What can help?

  • Repurposing of suburban spaces

  • Flexible zoning to allow for a variety of residential options

  • Improved mass transportation

  • Tax credits

More is at stake here than housing seniors. There are emotional implications too. Without answers we face an epidemic of isolated seniors which can directly affect their health and well-being.

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