Empty convents, shuttered school buildings, abandoned motels. Where some people see eyesores, others see opportunities for creating affordable housing for the nation’s growing aging population.
A recent article in The New York Times explains how an innovative “adaptive reuse” approach to make housing for older adults is catching on throughout New Jersey.
“In Montvale, the United Way of Bergen County is transforming a long-shuttered school into a 10-apartment building for older adults, a renovation expected to cost $1.6 million to $2 million because the classrooms are about the size needed for the one-bedroom apartments they are scheduled to become,” the article states.
That may sound like a lot of money, but a new building would likely have cost closer to $3 million, the article goes on, and reuse has the benefit of being greener, too.
After successfully converting a convent into the Senior Residence at St. Peter the Apostle, the nonprofit Build With Purpose is now on a mission to “open 100 new units of senior housing in 1,000 days,” the article notes.
“We’re looking for the kind of real estate that best lends itself to use as senior housing,” Brian Keenan, president of Build With Purpose, is quoted as saying. “The question we try to answer with every project is: How do we use real estate for social change?”
It’s a great question, one others around the country should be asking, too.
Next Avenue brings you stories that are inspiring and change lives. We know that because we hear it from our readers every single day. One reader says,
"Every time I read a post, I feel like I'm able to take a single, clear lesson away from it, which is why I think it's so great."
Your generous donation will help us continue to bring you the information you care about. Every dollar donated allows us to remain a free and accessible public service. What story will you help make possible?