What is the need?
The demand for affordable housing and affordable care services for the upcoming generation is significant and is likely to reach critical proportions unless Minnesota cities have the tools to anticipate the needs of their seniors. Those with the lowest incomes, 30% or less of Area Median Income (AMI), see few affordable options. At the same time, no new funding at the state or federal level is available to address this growing need. In addition, many federally funded senior developments have waiting lists that extend for several months up to five years or more. Finally, data indicates that many seniors may outline their assets. While more affluent seniors may be able to support their retirement years through investments and home equity, the increased longevity of the baby boom generation may result in a portion of boomers exhausting their assets. With the sheer size of this generation, even a small proportion (10% to 15%) could result in a large number of people that will not be able to afford their housing and service needs. Access the full report entiltled the "Demand for Senior Housing" using the buttons below.
How To Meet the Need
Create affordable senior housing that fills the gap between regular housing options (which are no longer adequate) and more expensive assisted living facilities/nursing homes (which provide too much care at too great a price). In addition, this type of affordable senior housing will give residents choice and control over services they need in order to live independently. By moving seniors into a congregate living setting allows services to be provided efficiently and at a reduced rate, but service costs will not be bundled into the rent. A separate proposal to the Department of Human Services for a demonstration on how to efficiently deliver services to seniors will be prepared.
How To Fund Affordable Senior Housing
Create a state funded gap financing program using housing infrastructure bonds dedicated to the development of affordable senior housing which incorporates the delivery of support services to help seniors live independently as long as possible. The fund would be allocated on a 50/50 split between the seven-county metro and Greater Minnesota with at least 25% of funds directed to projects in communities with population less than 25,000.
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Download the full Demand for Senior Housing Report from 2015: