TheStreet.com quoted me in Inside the Nation’s Looming Senior Housing Crisis. It opens,
Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. That will be true for the next 15 years as the Baby Boomers slide into retirement. Here’s the question: where will they live?
Know that the Social Security Administration said that if you turn 65 today, you will live to 84.3 if you are a man. If you are a woman, it is 86.6. Added SSA: “And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of ten will live past age 95.”
Our retirement savings also are paltry. A Government Accountability Office 2015 study said that average Americans between 55 and 64 had about $104,000 in savings. Many have nothing saved.
In 2015 SSA said the average monthly check it issued was for $1,335.
Will there be enough housing to put a roof over every gray head? How will they pay the rent?
When the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank, recently looked at senior housing, it said in a detailed report: “The current supply of housing that is affordable to the nation’s lowest-income seniors is woefully inadequate. As more low-income Americans enter the senior ranks, this supply shortage — currently measured in millions of units — will become even more acute.”
The good news: many are scrambling to meet the need. There are efforts to provide low income public housing, private affordable housing, and many companies are engaged in developing senior housing for the affluent.
Public housing has been the traditional go-to for those lacking means, seniors included, and many big cities – such as New York, Philadelphia and Chicago – have extensive inventory of income tested senior housing. But there is nowhere near enough. In much of Chicago, the waiting list for senior public housing is over two years. In New York, it is over four. In Philadelphia the public housing waiting list is presently closed, and said the housing authority, it has 104,000 on the wait list. The Philadelphia Housing Authority added: “Due to low turnover, applicants may not reach the top of the waitlist for ten years.”
“Public housing continues to have extremely long waiting lists, so it is not a practical option for many seniors,” said David Reiss, a professor at Brooklyn Law and an expert on housing.