Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is senior housing?

Affordable senior housing is designed for individuals over the age of 65 who are without the means to maintain homeownership or pay market rents in their communities.

The Pacific Companies’ senior apartment communities range from large to small, urban to rural, contemporary to traditional. Spacious common areas for gathering, community gardens, accessibility features, and energy efficiency are hallmarks of our designs. Each community is designed to address the priorities of the local governments, social service providers, and investors with whom we partner and who share our ambition to produce housing that positively impacts the dignity, good health, and independence of our residents—at all ages and incomes.

Q: What is the difference between subsidized and senior housing?

Subsidized housing rental payments are reduced as a result of assistance provided by government, private enterprises, or individuals. Residents pay less than the market rate for rent or for rent and services. Senior housing is generally defined as housing that provides seniors with low-cost places to live for sale or rent. This form of housing is often provided by a housing agency to meet the needs of local seniors who cannot afford accommodations through the open or low-cost market, or subsidized housing.

Q: Who needs senior housing?

More seniors than you might realize. Every day more than 10,000 Americans reach retirement age. In 2013 alone, 3.5 million people will turn 65, many without the means to maintain homeownership or pay market rents in their communities. The Pacific Companies has been addressing this need for 15 years and counting, coordinating federal, state, and local resources with capital from corporate investors to produce high quality, smartly designed, residential developments for low and moderate income seniors.

Q: Who lives in senior housing?

Seniors (individuals or couples over age 65) without the means to pay market rents in their communities live in senior housing. Often they can no longer maintain their homes or have special accessibility needs.

In many cases, seniors who need affordable housing cannot voice their support for more housing because they do not have the time to support housing developments. They need the vocal support of friends, neighbors, organizations, and other members of the community to ensure senior housing remains affordable.

Q: How does a tax credit development benefit local economies?

New developments built with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) often face opposition from local groups who are anxious to point out real or imagined negative impacts, such as the strain on local budgets to provide additional school services and police and fire protections, and the downward spiral of nearby property values. However, new LIHTC developments have many positive effects on local economies, including added income and jobs for local residents, increased revenue for local governments, and more.

In order to fully understand the impact of a tax credit development on a community, it’s important to consider the one-time effects and the ongoing benefits of LIHTC developments. In an average LIHTC development with 100 units, the first-year benefits include about $7.8 million in local income, $742,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and around 149 local jobs. These one-time impacts stem from the construction activity itself and from local residents who earn money by assisting with the construction and by spending some or all of that money within the area.

The additional, recurring impacts of building 100 units in a typical LIHTC development include about $2.2 million in local income, $324,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and around 35 local jobs. These ongoing, annual benefits result from the new LIHTC units being occupied, and from occupants paying taxes and participating in the local economy year after year.

Q: Why does affordable housing for seniors matter to everyone?

When the median price of a home in California was $428,000, only 21% of Californians could afford a median-priced home. This is just one reason why The Pacific Companies makes affordable housing its focus. Affordable housing developments provide a comfortable community for lower-income families, individuals, and seniors. As the size of these groups increases, so does the need for these types of developments.

With affordable housing developments, we often encounter multiple hurdles ranging from lack of enthusiasm to “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) attitudes. The Pacific Companies is familiar with these obstacles and has successfully managed many of them through presenting the development to concerned parties, answering questions at city council meetings, and arranging neighborhood meetings in communities where these types of developments are being considered.