A Department of Housing and Urban Development study estimates that approximately $25.6 billion in repairs are needed for the United States’ 1.2 million public housing units, including public senior housing units.
With many of those housing units encompassing senior housing, the lack of budget for repairs could slow the movement for some seniors out of their longtime homes and into public housing facilities.
The study, titled “Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program,” updates an analysis from 1998 to estimate the current capital needs in U.S. public housing.
“The new capital needs estimate far exceeds our annual budget for these repairs and illustrates why America needs a long-term strategy to address the loss of thousands of public housing units annually,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “At a time when budget deficits require the Federal government to tighten its belt, many of the nation’s public housing units are buckling under a severe backlog in capital needs. Public housing owners are forced to make tough choices between repairing roofs and replacing plumbing—or worse, demolishing units altogether—because there simply isn’t enough money to go around.”
The existing capital needs for senior developments is substantially lower than for family developments at an average of $11,646 and $22,190 respectively. Both types of housing are in need, however, at a time when funding is short and uncertainty exists for publicly financed projects.
For senior housing, accrual costs are lower than in family developments, and life cycles are shorter for many systems in family developments because of higher wear and tear, according to the study.
View the report.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker