As the population ages, more seniors will need access to affordable housing options

We all know the stats: by 2035, one in three households will be headed by someone aged 65 or more years and the population aged 80 or more years will double to 24 million.

In the past, many have focused on the overall lack of senior housing to be the major crisis facing our nation. I'd argue, however, that the crisis isn't just a lack of housing; it's a lack of housing that our aging population actually can afford.

According to a A Place for Mom, the average cost nationally for a private assisted living facility is almost $4,000 per month. That cost increases to more than $6,000 per month for private nursing home care. Compare those costs with the fact that almost half of adults aged 65 or more years have just enough income to afford basic expenses.

According to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies and Harvard University, almost 40 percent of aging homeowners have less than $50,000 in savings, not including the value of their homes. At that rate, paying for a home health aide or assisted living care would exhaust their non-housing savings within a year. Even more alarming: the typical older renter would exhaust his or her assets within just two months.



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