Assisted Living Construction Lags

| May 15, 2011

According to experts, assisted living communities won’t be able to satisfy future demand for their services unless construction of new communities picks up soon.

If construction of assisted living communities doesn’t pick up soon, the industry won’t be able to satisfy future demand from the baby boom generation, says Mike Hargrave, vice president of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industry. During a radio talk show on April 30 (mp3), Hargrave said that construction on new units of seniors housing is currently down by 75%.

“Just a few years ago, the industry was starting about 40,000 units of seniors housing annually,” said Hargrave. “Right now, we’re starting less than 10,000 units annually. So right now we’re not even starting at a level that meets current demand.”

Hargrave appeared on a special edition of the Commercial Real Estate Show, which focused on the assisted living and senior housing market. During the show’s second segment, Steve Maag, LeadingAge’s director of residential living, told listeners that it’s not too early for aging services organizations to start thinking about how they will meet the coming surge in demand for assisted living.

“The baby boomers will come of age in 2025, so we do have some time,” said Maag. “But we don’t have a lot of extra time because it takes a while to plan and to develop resources. Now is the time to start planning for that huge wave, when a significant number of people will be tapping into our services. Otherwise, we’re going to run out of time and find ourselves woefully behind.”