Q. Could active adult housing be a solution to the middle-market affordability challenge?

A. Several operators/providers are attempting to develop products to address this challenge.

Active adult apartments are an emerging product that is targeting a healthier, active and slightly younger segment of the Senior population who are searching for secure maintenance-free living, amenities and opportunities for socialization with their peers. For the middle market segment of this population, affordability will be a challenge.  Many operators are now designing active adult products specifically targeted to this segment of the population. The physical product is one of several areas of value engineering that could result in reduced development costs and assist in achieving a lower price point.

 Some of the physical characteristics that could result in reduced development costs include smaller living units, more one- versus two-bedroom units, fewer floorplans to accommodate stacking of units, more modest finish out materials and more efficient, multi-use common area spaces. In addition to new construction, many providers are also evaluating the acquisition and repurposing of older Senior housing or residential apartment buildings to achieve a lower price point.

Other housing products are also being investigated to address the middle market challenge. For example, pocket neighborhoods involving duplex or fourplex townhomes are being built around shared common spaces. Companion living (while not a first choice) and intergenerational living arrangements are also being investigated. Addressing middle market challenges will require creative thinking and innovative approaches.

This article appears in the August issue of McKnight’s Senior Living as “You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers” column.

Jim Moore is president of Moore Diversified Services Inc., a national senior living and healthcare consulting firm based in Fort Worth, TX, that has been serving clients for 50 years. He has written five books about senior living and healthcare, including “Assisted Living Strategies for Changing Markets” and “Independent Living and CCRCs.” He has published senior living bimonthly columns for the past 28 years. Moore may be reached at (817) 731-4266 or jimmoore@m-d-s.com.