Finding senior housing solutions

According to the Clark County Commission on Aging, during the next 15 years this area will see a major surge in the number of residents who are ages 60 and older.

Today, one in six residents is 60 or older, and the number will increase to one in four by 2030.

Clearly, housing options that address the diverse needs of this sector of the population are and will continue to be major issues for the county to address. The importance is illustrated by the fact that the Commission on Aging is dedicating a year to its study. Since January, each month the nine-member board is looking at another senior housing related issue, ranging from aging-in-place; remodeling and retrofitting or building a new home; and affordable senior multi-family housing.

This isn’t just a county government issue, statistics show that 87 percent of people prefer to retire in the communities that they have called home for many years — a trend referred to as aging-in-place. With that research in mind, the lack of senior housing is a topic that many smaller communities are struggling with and working to address as well.

In Camas, where single-family homes cover much of the landscape, a major senior citizen housing project, Riverview Apartments, is going through the administrative approval and permitting process. If all goes as planned, the developer hopes to break ground on the 120-unit project in August, and be open by spring 2017.

According to Mayor Scott Higgins, additional local housing options geared toward senior citizens are currently being discussed.

It’s a positive trend in a community that truly lacks in housing diversity. City leaders should continue to encourage and support these kinds of solutions when they make the most sense for the community.