A recent report prepared for the Consortium of Housing Authorities and Private Developers projects an increased need for affordable senior housing statewide in the coming years. Based on the analysis released by Maxfield Research, the population aged 55 years or older communities in the state is expected to increase from 1.57 million in 2015 to 1.83 million by 2020, an increase of nearly 17 percent in five years.
Barbara Dacy, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Minnesota chapter president, points to several growing problems laid out in the report. They include high rents, low vacancy rates and a cut in federal funding. “The demography and the market is combining for a potential problem for the future,” says Dacy. In Rice County, according to the report, last year there were an estimated 17,783 people over 55 years of age. That number is expected to climb to 20,812 in 2020 and 24,427 in 2030. According to Faribault City Planner David Wanberg, the city’s comprehensive plan is in the early stages of development, but will work to address those increased numbers. “We’re starting our comprehensive plan and looking at land use and where we’re going to put certain types of housing. Another aspect is the affordable senior housing itself, where we’ll get into a fair amount of detail between now and 2040,” Wanberg said. “We’re looking at ways we can address the baby-boom generation that started retiring around 2010 or so, and that will continue through the year 2040.”