The first baby boomer turns 83 in 2029, with explosive growth in the cohort thereafter, more than 1 million units of new seniors housing may be needed to meet middle market demands. This need due to a few factors: an overwhelming increase in this aging population, reduced retirement savings projections, changing marital statuses, and fewer family or unpaid caregivers less likely to live nearby. The National Investment Center (NIC), has addressed this issue in a manuscript published in May 2019 Health Affairs on Elder Care print edition called, “The Forgotten Middle: Many Middle-Income Seniors Will Have Insufficient Resources For Housing And Health Care”(nic.org/middlemarket).
The report provides research, findings and possible solutions including:
- Pursue a variety of cost reducing measures (No “Silver Bullet”)
- Emphasize rental model vs. entrance fee model to expand financial accessibility
- Match community design and finishes to middle market
- Set reasonable return thresholds and accrue benefits to residents (social investment)
- Bank on higher occupancy to minimize long term risk
Meyer has begun to address the middle market in conjunction with Smith/Packett and Harmony Senior Services. Meyer has worked diligently finding ways to design affordable, senior living communities that are focused on the middle market, including the new Harmony at State College. Situated in State College, Pennsylvania, Harmony at State College includes 112 units for residents in Personal Care and Memory Care. The community provides warm, attractive apartments on a conveniently located, well-landscaped campus. With nearby Penn State University, residents have the opportunity to enjoy big-time college sporting and community events. By designing modest amenities and slightly larger units (1,000 SF average) with more basic finishes (carpet throughout, builder grade fixtures, etc.), these middle market senior living communities have larger units that feel more like home and have less turnover and marketing costs. For more information on designing for the middle market, please contact Tim Wanaselja, Project Manager, or Matt Wittemann, Business Development Manager.