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Low Income Senior Housing
What comes to mind when you hear the term low income senior housing? Hopefully it is healthy, clean and affordable condos or apartments. Let’s say we accomplish the first part – we find a healthy and clean senior living space. The next aspect – the affordability is the topic of this article.
There is a growing disparity in the income levels of the older population in the United States and perhaps in other aging societies too. It might not readily show up in the everyday shopping habits or in polls for TV. Nevertheless, the gap is showing up – and naturally so – seniors are happy to talk with you, if you just let them.
So then, what is low income senior housing? For most middle class and even more affluent American seniors, the idea of living in a low income senior housing project was until the past decade an unacceptable proposal. In the United States, an aging population from the ‘baby-boom’ era was taught to be self-reliant and each citizen was to prepare a retirement nest for him or herself. For the generations from the Great Depression through the seventies this has been the unspoken philosophy. Even the idea of needing low income senior housing for oneself was already a defeat.
A New Millennium
It did not happen on January 1, 2000 but with the coming of the new millennium came the realization that a shift in public opinion was underway. Lifelong employment, fully funded retirement packages, predictable family situations were all things of the past. Also, the national opinion shifted about what low income senior housing could be and what it should represent.
It is still relative but the number of seniors looking for a sensible low income senior housing alternative has skyrocketed. On a popular night-time talk show, the host interviewed Senator Hillary Clinton, and the topic was a recent tax bill. The senator said that millions of Americans earning less than $27,000 per year would get nothing from the proposed tax cut. Fair enough, you think, it’s for the rich. Now, here’s the spin - The talk show host said he could not imagine anyone living on just $27,000 per year – and so you see its relative.
For the millions of seniors with less than $27,000 per year available, low income senior housing begins to look like a great solution. The actual threshold for qualifying for low income senior housing is often substantially lower than that $27,000 figure – somewhere between $17,500 - $22,500.
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