A New Voice for Homeowners?

Washington hears from interest groups that represent everything from medical specialties to cattlemen to professional wrestlers. Now there’s an organization for one of the largest constituencies in the country: homeowners. The current homeownership rate in the United States is 65 percent (down from a high of more than 69 percent in 2004), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. America’s Homeowner Alliance (AHA) is the brainchild of Phil Bracken, a former executive of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and now the chief …

Community Caregiving in Cohousing

Remember when neighborhoods were like caring villages? I never had that experience, but got more than a hint when I visited Camelot Cohousing in Berlin, Mass., a couple of weeks ago. I went to do a housing story and found a family caregiving story! It also brought home the point that there are many ways to grow old and have support. Whether you’re a boomer or in your 70s and beyond, it’s an interesting option. First, the cohousing concept: People …

What’s Happened to Housing Affordability?

The National Association of Realtors announced earlier this year that its Housing Affordability Index shows 2012 was a record year for housing affordability.  Subsequently, articles appeared in the media with titles such as “Housing Today Is More Affordable Than at Any Time in History” and “2012 a Banner Year for Housing Affordability, Industry Group Says.” In addition, I’ve seen TV reports that continue to note how affordable housing has become. All of these are at odds with study findings presented …

Kids in Assisted Living: Everyone Wins

There’s a children’s book series that has come out in the last year about a young girl named Carlyn and her visits to her grandmother in assisted living. It debunks the stereotypes about old people and long-term care. Here’s one line from Carlyn Meets Granny Girl’s New Friends: “Wow, this does not look like a place creepy people live, and I do not smell anything weird, either!” Carlyn said. There’s an even more interesting story behind the book. It’s written by …

Is Your Loved One Really Getting the Care You Expect?

Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy about an employee in an independent living facility in California who refused to do CPR on a resident, citing company policy forbidding her to do so. The resident later died, sparking many questions about types of facilities, the kind or “level” of care provided and their policies. Several investigations have been launched as a result of the incident. The facility at first said the employee followed policy, but later released a statement saying, “The incident resulted from …

Future Housing Market Depending on Boomers

LAS VEGAS – The National Association of Home Builders says the future housing market will depend heavily on baby boomers. Paul Emrath, vice president of survey and housing policy research for NAHB, expects the number of single-family housing starts in 55+ communities to increase 22 percent this year and an additional 20 percent in 2014. This demographic will also contribute to 50 percent of all multi-family housing starts in 2014. “We expect to see an increased demand for 55+ housing as …