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Our members were asked to provide their insight and expertise on emerging trends for the upcoming new year in the affordable housing industry. They shared their knowledge on the topics of the impacts of the aging population, advances in construction, the advantages of technology and what they see as the biggest trends for 2019.

Below are their abbreviated responses. For the full response, please click on the provided link.

The questions they were asked:

  1. What are some of the changes or impacts you see in affordable housing as a result of the growing aging population?
  2. What advances in new construction materials and methods—for example, building small houses, using 3D printing, utilizing shipping containers, converting shopping malls, etc.—do you see as having a beneficial impact on affordable housing?
  3. What role(s) do you see advancements in technology playing in the lives of on-site property employees and residents?
  4. Look into your crystal ball, what will be the biggest trend in the affordable housing industry for 2019?


What are some of the changes or impacts you see in affordable housing as a result of the growing aging population?


Dominium Inc., Jack Sipes, partner and senior vice president: I have seen a dramatic increase in Section 42 senior tax credit new construction communities. Dominium has more than 10 planned or under construction and the demand far outstrips supply. I expect to see local elected officials and developers to continue or increase these type of projects as a result.  (Click here to read more)

Federation Housing Inc., Eric Naftulin, NAHP-e, executive director:  One of the challenges many senior housing operators are facing has to do with the Nursing Home Transition (NHT) initiative—where seniors who have been living in assisted living and nursing home settings are being encouraged to move back into independent living environments with needed medical and related services being brought into the independent living apartment. The concept of NHT is that it is typically less expensive for a senior to live independently with supportive services being brought into the home than it is to reside in an assisted or nursing home environment 24/7. Naturally, most seniors would prefer to live “independently” rather than in an “old age home.” Question is while it may prove to be cheaper, is it better for the individual’s quality of life? … (Click here to read more)

WSH Management, Anthony Sandoval, NAHP-e, president & CEO: One of the major impacts on affordable housing that I see as a result of the growing aging population is the need for more affordable senior housing to be built. According to recent research completed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, “two in three retirees report Social Security is a major source of income, while only about a third of workers believe Social Security will be a major source.” … (Click here to read more)

What advances in new construction materials and methods do you see as having a beneficial impact on affordable housing?


Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp., Noel Gill, NAHP-e, SHCM, CPO, executive vice president:  The past year has seen 3D-printed houses, roads being paved with recycled plastics and the “Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose” mindset is a growing trend. With the onset of 3D printing and the first 800-square-foot house 3D-printed in Austin, Texas, the future has met the present. Printing in concrete will be the first phase of 3D-printed structures; however concrete is destructive to quarry from the earth, and has a high carbon dioxide release, to produce and transport, making it not environmentally sustainable, but does have long life sustainability of 100 years or more. The future will see most of our structures 3D-printed using a combination of recycled materials with sustainable renewable resources such as hemp. … (Click here to read more)

POAH Communities, Patricia Belden, president: Cost control concern is bringing positive attention to funders’ design standards—do they fit real households’ housing consumption patterns or are they outdated? In some cases, smaller units, more shared amenities, less parking, more green space—better fit how people actually live now and are less resource intensive. We are hopeful that other technologies—modular construction, engineered lumber, etc.—can help both lower costs and result in better construction quality—and in some cases reduce long-term energy costs. … (Click here to read more)

What role(s) do you see advancements in technology playing in the lives of on-site property employees and residents?


Seldin Company, Alicia Stoermer Clark, SHCM, president & CEO: Several advancements have created beneficial shifts for the property employees and residents in recent years including electronic communications (email, texting features, IM [instant messaging]). We see our property advertising and marketing moving almost exclusively to online platforms, this provides for an ease in making real-time adjustments or notification, but also creates an expectation of immediate response. Property management continues to be a customer-centered environment that largely differentiates company or property based upon level of service and response. … (Click here to read more)

Wallick Communities, Layne Hurst, SHCM, CPO, regional vice president: Online technology has really made collaboration and communication so much easier for associates and residents alike. We are using technology to make unit inspections more efficient and work orders for residents and associates much more easily managed.  (Click here to read more)

Wesley Living Jim Nasso, NAHP-e, president & CEO: Continued advancement and cost-effective materials for windows, doors, insulation, water savings, etc. will have a major impact in affordable housing. Also, more wide spread use and acceptance of electronic documents, storage, signatures, etc. will less complicate the process. … (Click here to read more)

What will be the biggest trend in the affordable housing industry?


Essex Management Company LLC, J. Kenneth Pagano, SHCM, NAHP-e, president & CEO: The increase in tenant contribution will reduce to some extent the annual subsidy contract for each contract. The future will be more mixed-income housing to be able to provide affordable housing, but also long-term financial stability of the properties. … (Click here to read more)

National Church Residences, Pamela Monroe, vice president: … One trend we expect to continue in 2019 is the use of technology aimed at providing daily assistance to seniors in ways that complement human services. With lifespans increasing, seniors will need additional resources to assist with life’s daily tasks. For those living into their 80s, three out of four seniors will need some sort of assistance to live their lives well. Some advances have already begun entering into the market. For instance, we employed a tablet-based system at Inniswood Village in Westerville, Ohio, earlier this year. Residents use the tablets to manage visitors, communicate with other residents and stay in touch with the staff. Other uses include making service requests, checking daily menus, as well as accessing emergency alerts and much more. … (Click here to read more)

Peabody Properties, Inc., Doreen Donovan, SHCM, NAHP-e, vice president of administration & compliance: This was a difficult topic since most of us in the industry currently have an extremely cloudy crystal ball. At least I know mine is. It also gets convoluted with the reality of what will most likely happen versus my desire for what I think should happen. 2019 will have two major trends, HUD’s desire for more accountability for the residents in the community and how they contribute to the long-term development of their own financial success. Secondly, the desire to reduce costs for affordable housing via vacancy loss payments and an increase in the resident’s portion of rent paid.  … (Click here to read more)

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December 2018