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Volume XXX
Spring 2017

Outlook

SURVEY: One‐third of Boomers Report
"Housing Affordability" Anxiety

Affordable housing has become a growing problem for aging boomers who want to remain active but are now earning less because of a semi-retired lifestyle. Coupled with employment changes, disability or caregiving duties, boomers are experiencing more anxiety in finding affordable housing.

While many parts of the country including northern Nevada, are experiencing new building and construction, the growth has tightened the housing market. Since the end of 2015, rents reportedly have increased an average of 11 percent in the Reno-Sparks area while earning wages have remained relatively flat.

It is too soon to tell how the new Trump administration will affect construction and the cost of affordable housing, but the nation's 75 million baby boomers are weighing in with their housing concerns. According to a new survey of 1000 Americans aged 55+ from The National Housing Partnership (NHP) Foundation, 30 percent are experiencing anxiety about being able to afford where they live at least once a month, with 42 percent of retirees reporting such anxiety at least once daily. When asked what causes the greatest anxiety, 46 percent of respondents said they worry about "the ability to afford desirable retirement living."

The NHP Foundation Baby Boomer survey is the third in a series. The first queried the general population about housing affordability, determining that 75 percent of the population worried at any given time about losing their housing. The second zeroed in on millennials, finding that 76 percent of that group have made compromises in order to find affordable housing.

"These findings underscore the urgency to make housing affordability solutions a priority in America especially for those most vulnerable," added Ali Solis, President and CEO of MakeRoom, a national renter's advocacy group.

Nearly 50 percent of those queried believe their housing related anxiety could be alleviated if the new administration assured stable property and other taxes, meaning a guarantee of no substantial tax increases. Those seeking assurances about job security and legislation to protect from rent/mortgage increases followed at 24 percent and 23 percent respectively. Interestingly, nearly 14 percent of respondents indicated that construction of more affordable housing would alleviate anxiety.

affordable housing would alleviate anxiety. “Government measures, particularly the Low Income Housing Tax Credit which gives incentives to private equity for the development of affordable housing, will continue to be vital to organizations to provide the country with stable, long-term affordable housing options."