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A Need for Healthy Senior Housing—Q&A with Eric Paine

Posted by Macie Melendez on July 01, 2013
A Need for Healthy Senior Housing—Q&A with Eric Paine
The Marquee Senior Apartments in Phoenix, Arizona is one of the sustainable, affordable communities that Community Development Partners is working on.

The National Council on Aging reports that there are more than 23 million Americans aged 60+ that are economically insecure (living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level). For housing developers in the southwest, this number is of particular concern. A recent study by the Arizona Housing Alliance showed that more than 200,000 residents are paying upwards of 78% of their income in rent.

Addressing the Need in Senior Affordable Housing

There is a void of affordable senior housing in the southwest region and throughout the United States. Recognizing this void, a team of real estate experts and developers called Community Development Partners (CDP) came together to build affordable housing for seniors. Founded in 2012 and led by Eric Paine, the professionals have overseen the development of over 2,000 affordable units and 500 market-rate units throughout California and have expanded into the Phoenix market. The organization has a strong focus on building efficiently and with an integration of sustainable building practices.

Paine is working on a number of projects for seniors, including:

  • The Marquee Senior Apartments: Phoenix, AZ, 34 Units
  • Morgan Hill Retirement Residences: Morgan Hill, CA, 138 Units
  • Cypress Senior Apartments: Glendale, CA, 18 Units
  • El Rancho Family Apartments: Mesa, AZ, 66 Units
  • Las Casitas Family Townhomes: Phoenix, AZ, 26 Units

With an interest in this developing need, we got in touch with Eric Paine. Below is our conversation.

Home Energy: Does CDP build all these housing developments from the ground up or do you also do remodels?

Eric Paine: The organization was founded to provide a holistic approach to affordable housing development. CDP does both renovations of existing structures and new construction. From a sustainability standpoint, we perceive the upcycling of an existing and obsolete structure to be the epitome of sustainable building.

HE: It's obvious that efficient, affordable senior housing is a necessity. How does CDP address this need different than other housing developers?

EP: CDP is nimble and able to spot trends and shifts in lifestyle which leads to our unconventional approach. Our Marquee project in downtown Phoenix is a perfect example. We created a senior affordable housing project in the middle of a vibrant, art-centric downtown. The project is in close walking distance to the light rail, YMCA, restaurants, parks, and other services.

HE: What specific energy efficiency measures are included in the housing developments you've worked on?

EP: This short list is not exhaustive but represents some examples: no VOC for applied finishes, solid surface flooring throughout (no carpet), low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets, advanced Energy Star lighting packages, high efficiency hot water distribution systems, roofing that exceeds IECC standards and has a high solar reflectivity index, efficient furnaces, and solar infrastructure.

HE: Do you inform your occupants about the health benefits of living in energy-efficient, comfortable homes?

EP: Yes, we do an introduction tour with each resident upon move-in.

HE: What is the future of affordable senior homes? And how does that directly affect the housing market as a whole?

EP: As we continue seeing the Baby Boomer generation aging we will see the demand continue to rise for high quality, safe, affordable housing. The demand will keep developers focused on the housing type and with continued support in the form of Federal tax credit programs more projects will come to fruition.

Through regulatory language, the state housing agencies will be able to continue to push an agenda of requiring sustainable building practices and components on every project. This development of quality, sustainable housing for seniors is a great benefit to the individual communities in which the projects are located as well as the surrounding city.

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