Unbundling is an opportunity in senior housing: issue brief

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Offering senior housing that is disconnected from services could provide an expansion opportunity for operators, according to a new issue brief posted online by Rockwood Pacific.

That's because the resulting apartments would be more affordable and appealing to older adults who want to age in place but cannot pay for or do not need the services that usually are provided in independent living communities, the authors write.

“Apartments for life,” or A4L, are a subcategory of senior apartments and include universal design principles, a concierge function to help residents arrange for off-site services, social gatherings and pricing that resembles traditional apartments rather than typical independent living rent, according to the brief.

In fact, the lower revenues per unit may deter some current independent living operators from offering A4L, the authors state. And some multifamily housing operators may be reluctant to expand into age-restricted properties because of the smaller pool of prospective residents and the added risk and staffing costs that come with serving frail adults, according to the report.

Alliance Residential, Elder Care Alliance, the Wolff Co., Greystar and Smart Living 360 are some of the companies trying to appeal to older adults with these types of communities, the brief states. More data and a standardized definition of the model is needed before it will become adopted widely, however, the authors write.

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