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Senior Housing Shortage Statewide

By | February 28, 2013 - 6:39 pm

Alaska has one of the fastest growing senior citizen populations in the country, yet affordable housing for seniors is at a minimum. In December, a group of state and community leaders got together in Anchorage to discuss options for providing senior housing to meet growing demand. The Alaska Senior Housing Summit has outlined the challenges ahead and the strategies needed to overcome them.

The so called Silver Tsunami is lapping at Alaska’s shore, and care providers are worried that there won’t be sufficient programs — or enough funding — to meet it. The graying of Alaska is more pronounced than in other areas of the country. Alaska leads all states in having the fastest growing senior population of persons age 65 or older, which now accounts for 13.6 percent of state residents.

One of the top priorities for Alaska’s seniors is housing. Denise Daniello, with the Alaska Commission on Aging,  did not want to comment on tape, but  says senior housing needs to encompass the full range of care, from helping independent seniors stay in their own homes to creating living facilities for seniors with special needs. With limited funding, that is going to be a tough task

Daniello  says older Alaskans are no longer moving out of state. they came here as baby boomers and stay. As more and more boomers age, the state’s senior population will grow with them over the next 25 years.

Mark Romick is director of planning and program development for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, which plays a multi-faceted role in senior housing .

   “The demand for senior housing is like every other housing component of the market. It’s based on people’s ability to pay, and suffice it to say, that there is a fairly substantial need, well over four or five hundred units in the next ten or twenty years,” he says.

Most senior housing funds come from two pots of money AHFC manages from the federal Housing and Urban Development agency. [Senior Housing Grant Development Fund and AHFC's Senior Housing Development Loan Fund.] Romick says in general projects for low income seniors are financed through grants, but assisted living or medium income facilities have to rely on private financing or loans. AHFC offers rental assistance, or vouchers, to low income renters of any age, but the waiting list is long, often years. And the sequester is expected to add to the crunch by shrinking that program, according to HUD spokesman Lee Jones

 ”The number of available vouchers is going to be reduced by about 125, 000 nationally. That obviously shrinks the resource base for people who need that kind of assistance, ” according to Jones.  He says cuts to HUD appropriations could begin when discussions on the FY 14 federal budget start.

Since the majority of Alaska’s senior housing projects target low income seniors, middle income seniors suffer. They have too much money to qualify for rental assistance or low income housing, but they can’t afford market rate rents. AHFC data indicates about 2 /3 of Alaska’s seniors can’t afford urban rents. A brief white paper released this [february] month by the state department of Health and Social Services identified some funding strategies that could be used to develop “graduated income” housing to accommodate residents of mixed incomes.   Mark Romick says that will take some changes:

 ”I think it’s pretty obvious that alternative sources need to be developed. Private financing is a huge component of that. There is not enough money available through the state or federal government to address the housing need of all the seniors that might need an affordable place to live. People are going to have to be more creative about how they address the financing of senior housing in the future. ”

 

One group of seniors in Fairbanks is a jump ahead of the game. Karen Parr says the Raven Landing retirement community there was created, funded and designed at the instigation of a group of retired teachers who wanted to stay in Fairbanks, but couldn’t find middle income senior housing in their city. Parr says Raven Landing is a model for communities looking for solutions.

“The thing that’s so good about Raven Landing that is kind of unique, is that it was created by a group of local residents who planned it to suit this particular group of people, this kind of people. It’s kind of an Alaskan version of a continuing care plan.”

The city of Fairbanks helped to buy the land, and in 2008, the first building with 20 units opened. Another 20 units became available last year, and twenty more opened up last month. AHFC has provided grants and loans for each of the apartment buildings while individual and corporate donations help support the Retirement Community of Fairbanks non profit which operates the complex. RCF is now in the process of getting funds to build a community center. I’m Ellen Lockyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[25senior housing lockyer pack feb. 25]

 

Alaska has one of the fastest growing senior citizen populations in the country, yet affordable housing for seniors is at a minimum. In December, a group of state and community leaders got together in Anchorage to discuss options for providing senior housing to meet growing demand. As KSKA’s Ellen Lockyer reports, the Alaska Senior Housing Summit has outlined the challenges ahead and the strategies needed to overcome them. [:21]

 

The so called Silver Tsunami is lapping at Alaska’s shore, and care providers are worried that there won’t be sufficient programs — or enough funding — to meet it. The graying of Alaska is more pronounced than in other areas of the country. Alaska leads all states in having the fastest growing senior population of persons age 65 or older, which now accounts for 13.6 percent of state residents.

One of the top priorities for Alaska’s seniors is housing. Denise Daniello, with the Alaska Commission on Aging, *did not want to comment on tape, but* says senior housing needs to encompass the full range of care, from helping independent seniors stay in their own homes to creating living facilities for seniors with special needs. With limited funding, that is going to be a tough task

[Daniello would not comment on tape, but she says older Alaskans are no longer moving out of state. they came here as baby boomers and stay. As more and more boomers age, the state's senior population will grow with them over the next 25 years.]

Mark Romick is director of planning and program development for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, which plays a multi-faceted role in senior housing .

[CutID: <Worktapes> 27seniors romick 3 use first.wav

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In-cue: the demand

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["The demand for senior housing is like every other housing component of the market. It's based on people's ability to pay, and suffice it to say, that there is a fairly substantial need, well over four or five hundred units in the next ten or twenty years. "]

Most senior housing funds come from two pots of money AHFC manages from the federal Housing and Urban Development agency. [Senior Housing Grant Development Fund and AHFC's Senior Housing Development Loan Fund.] Romick says in general projects for low income seniors are financed through grants, but assisted living or medium income facilities have to rely on private financing or loans. AHFC offers rental assistance, or vouchers, to low income renters of any age, but the waiting list is long, often years. And the sequester is expected to add to the crunch by shrinking that program, according to HUD spokesman Lee Jones

[CutID: <Worktapes> 27seniors jones.wav

Time: 11s

Title: 27seniors jones

Description: 27seniors jones

In-cue: the number

Out-cue: assistance]

["The number of available vouchers is going to be reduced by about 125, 000 nationally. That obviously shrinks the resource base for people who need that kind of assistance. "]

 

Since the majority of Alaska’s senior housing projects target low income seniors, middle income seniors suffer. They have too much money to qualify for rental assistance or low income housing, but they can’t afford market rate rents. AHFC data indicates about 2 /3 of Alaska’s seniors can’t afford urban rents. A brief white paper released this [february] month by the state department of Health and Social Services identified some funding strategies that could be used to develop “graduated income” housing to accommodate residents of mixed incomes. Again, Mark Romick

[CutID: <Worktapes> 27seniors romick 4 use last.wav

Time: 23s

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Description: 27seniors romick 4 use last

In-cue: i think

Out-cue: future]

["I think it's pretty obvious that alternative sources need to be developed. Private financing is a huge component of that. There is not enough money available through the state or federal government to address the housing need of all the seniors that might need an affordable place to live. People are going to have to be more creative about how they address the financing of senior housing in the future. "]

One group of seniors in Fairbanks is a jump ahead of the game. Karen Parr says the Raven Landing retirement community there was created, funded and designed at the instigation of a group of retired teachers who wanted to stay in Fairbanks, but couldn’t find middle income senior housing in their city. Parr says Raven Landing is a model for communities looking for solutions.

[CutID: <Worktapes> 27seniors parr.wav

Time: 21s

Title: 27seniors parr

Description: 27seniors parr

In-cue: the thing

Out-cue: care plan]

["The thing that's so good about Raven Landing that is kind of unique, is that it was created by a group of local residents who planned it to suit this particular group of people, this kind of people. It's kind of an Alaskan version of a continuing care plan."]

 

The city of Faribanks helped to buy the land, and in 2008, the first building with 20 units opened. Another 20 units became available last year, and twenty more opened up last month. AHFC has provided grants and loans for each of the apartment buildings while individual and corporate donations help support the Retirement Community of Fairbanks non profit which operates the complex. RCF is now in the process of getting funds to build a community center. I’m Ellen Lockyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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