Moderate Cost Housing For Seniors

Please allow me to introduce my guest blogger Joyce Picard, a local Newton, MA senior citizen who is passionate about awareness for senior issues surrounding moderate cost housing and lack thereof.

Senior center

“Moderate Cost Housing for Seniors

It does seem that moderate cost housing is on the back burner, despite its booming development in neighboring Boston. Try being over 80 with plans to rent a two bedroom modern apartment. For many the $3300 plus per month rent is a bit much for 1100 sq. ft., especially when coming from a house where living costs are less. The alternative may be to buy a condo. Realistically, with the likely sale price and general upgrade we see stretching for close to if not more than $700K. That does not leave much for retirement fund income salvaged from home equity accrued after years living in a home.

Agreed by many is that a serious housing issue exists for seniors wishing to downsize to safer and more age appropriate single floor living in Newton. As quoted to me by a city councilor, “Newton has no money for housing”. If this be the case than I offer again what seems to be a reasonable solution. The burden rests with the developer. In addition to the required allotment of Affordable units I suggest that a percentage of units in any new development be allocated for seniors with longevity in Newton and these units be priced at below market rate. Universal design now mandates features that are good for young and old alike. The concept of financial bonus for municipal employees who have longevity is an established benefit in Newton and in many other municipalities. Innovative as it may seem it is time to reward long-time tax paying residents in some comparable way. Housing benefits may be that way.

Joyce Picard, April 2016”

Joyce and her husband Dr. Picard have been residents of Newton, MA for 52 years; Joyce is a retired career counselor and business owner and Dr. Picard, a retired neurologist. Dr. and Mrs. Picard have experienced this exact situation of seeking new housing to downsize with the hopes of realizing some profit by the sale of their long term family home.  The reality as a senior citizen today looking to downsize is the cost difference after selling the “American Dream” of single family home ownership and applied to the cost of a small condo is modest at best.

Many thanks!

Laura S. Rossinow, Broker, REALTOR®, ABR®, SRES®