Senior Housing Trends Will Require Innovation

Most modest and low-income seniors struggle to find affordable housing and supportive services.

In fact, very few have the assets to pay for care in their homes. Many are living in homes that are not designed or equipped to meet their needs as they age. Compounding the problem, the health system can be complex and difficult to navigate. Government agencies, federal and local, are struggling to find ways to care for this aging population.

Givens Communities is working to find innovative, collaborative ways to create more affordable senior living in the western end of the state.

Givens Affordable Communities have developed a model of housing with supportive services to meet the needs faced by helping older adults age successfully in their homes and communities. By embedding social workers and a community nurse into affordable senior housing, residents are supported through challenges and health transitions, and they are not only healthier, but they thrive through overcoming social isolation, rediscovering interests, and talents, contributing, learning, and playing. All of this results in increased health, which enables seniors to live fully and age with dignity.

More than 3.7 million people 50 and older live in the state of North Carolina, the ninth-highest number among all states. However, North Carolina is aging much more rapidly than much of the country. In fact, the median age in North Carolina has risen 4.3 percent since 2010, the 12th-largest increase and much higher than the overall national rate of 2.7 percent.

The National Association of Home Builders suggests meeting the demands for senior housing by:

  • Finding reasonably priced land near public services and shopping.
  • Working with municipalities to obtain necessary zoning and permits.
  • Discovering ways to bring construction costs down.

Givens Affordable Communities have recent successful examples of things to come:

  • Webster Village, a partnership between Givens Communities, Western Carolina University and Mountain Projects of Sylva, plans to build more than 200 new housing units, with 120 being senior living apartments.
  • In McDowell County, Givens purchased the historic Clinchfield Mill building in Marion for affordable housing. Leadership met with local officials and service providers to gain insight on how the mill, land and other structures could best serve the local population. This project involves partnership between Givens Communities, Western North Carolina Community Health Center, and The Gateway Health Foundation.
(828) 274-4800
90 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803