Concept Change in Senior Housing Will Preserve Independence Albany Business Review Online (03/22/02) Vol. 6, No. 12 p.45; Bryce, Siobhan
Now that senior citizens are healthier and living longer, senior housing often incorporates independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care into a single facility in the hopes of preserving their independence while providing affordable continued care. Laurie Leckonby, vice president of Albany, N.Y.-based real estate developer The United Group of Cos., says service coordinators determine residents' needs, choose the appropriate provider, and connect them with community-based services, such as home care providers and meals-on-wheels. New York state Division of Housing communication director Dan Gilbert says many senior housing facilities are often being built in downtown locales, giving residents easy access to grocery stores and other businesses. Meanwhile, state and federal governments are working to assist moderate-income seniors, whose incomes cannot stretch enough to afford upscale communities but are too high to qualify for low-income housing. New York Gov. George Pataki, for instance, has established Senior Housing Initiatives and State Tax Credit Programs to finance mixed-income housing geared toward households earning 90 percent of the regional median income. Such programs are necessary as baby boomers enter retirement and boost the senior population.