Cooperative Housing Predicted to be a Senior Housing Trend in 2010 puts out an annual list of forecasted senior housing trends, and we've just stumbled upon there 2010 list (forgive our tardiness). They say cooperative housing is one of the trends they expect to see an increase in. Though they admittedly aren't experts per se, we at The Sheldon sure hope their prediction is correct! Here is their complete 2010 list of senior living trends (see below for more details on each supposed trend):

1. Finance and Capital Markets Heal Slowly, Carefully and Conservatively

2. Construction & Rehabilitation Struggles To Recover In 2010

3. Green Goes Mainstream

4. Economic Development and Employment As Byproduct of Growing Senior Housing & Living Market

5. Practical Technology Solutions With Tangible Benefits and ROI

6. Service Leans Further Towards Provide Preventive Care Solutions

7. Sales & Marketing of Senior Housing

8. Alternative Senior Housing Options Continue To Grow (such as cooperatives)

9. Risk Management Becomes Mission Critical (if not already)

10. What Is Affordable, Senior Housing?

We are only half-way through the year, but we anticipate seeing how many of these trends actually pan out. Read the entire article ("10 Senior Housing & Senior Living Trends To Watch In 2010") for intriguing details on each of the senior living trends.

Intentional Communities: Bringing Community Back Into Living

It's fairly common at this point in time for the modern American to mourn the loss (or, at least, disintegration) of community. Individualism naturally found it's home in American values, and symbols of individual progress like isolated single-family homes, automobiles and even iPods now pervade our cultural landscape. However, certain groups of people feel there is an imbalance between individualistic and cooperative efforts, and are subsequently taking matters into their own hands. These groups are known as "Intentional Communities," and the one thing they all have in common is that they are attempting to reestablish community-based ideals into the way we live.

Historically, Intentional Communities have more or less been places where idealists have come together to create a better world. According to the essay "Intentional Communities: Lifestyles Based on Ideals" by Geoph Kozeny:

An "intentional community" is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.

This definition spans a wide variety of groups, including (but not limited to) communes, student cooperatives, land co-ops, cohousing groups, monasteries and ashrams, and farming collectives. Although quite diverse in philosophy and lifestyle, each of these groups places a high priority on fostering a sense of community--a feeling of belonging and mutual support that is increasingly hard to find in mainstream Western society.

Intentional Communities, argues Kozeny, bust the myth that co-housing communities began and died with the hippies in the '60's. In truth, communal living arrangements have been in place since long before the free-lovin' era -- for thousands of years, in fact. What's more, intentional communities continue to exist around the world, and, by the looks of it, they're making a comeback.

Though we haven't quite actively adopted the label, in many ways The Sheldon Cooperative fits the intentional community profile: We have a common vision that involves strong community, sustainability, and the desire to create a better alternative to traditional senior housing models.

There's no doubt about it, "intentional community" is one buzz word we're sure to hear more of in the future.

Want to know more? Further Reading:

Culture Clash: Cultural Diversity in Intentional Communities

What's True About Intentional Communities: Dispelling the Myths


May 2010 Issue of the Center for Real Estate Quarterly Features The Sheldon Cooperative

Portland State University's Center for Real Estate recently completed an article ("Cooperative Housing in Portland: Development Alternative in an Uncertain Market") that does a great job explaining the advantages of The Sheldon Co-op. The article states that with the condition of the financial market, there is a demand for creative, alternative development solutions, and goes on to explain how cooperative housing models are advantageous.

Atha Mansoory, J.D., Certificate of Real Estate Development Graduate Student explains:

Specifically, cooperative housing allows for responsive design, mitigation of market risk, empowered financing structures, and egalitarian operation of services. These and other innate advantages are particularly attractive for adults facing long-term housing decisions, often having recently sold single-family detached houses. Cooperative housing allows for flexibility in design, pre-sale requirements, finance, construction, resident control and operation of services that traditional continued care facilities and condominiums cannot.

The PSU article also goes into depth about the benefits of HUD financing. One of the greatest advantage is a 40-year amortizing fixed-interest rate loan that results is financial predictability and financial security to the membership. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the role and advantages of HUD financing are invited to read the whole PSU cooperative housing article.


Obama pitches healthcare plans to seniors

This article re-posted from Thomas Rueters:

Maryland (Reuters) - President Barack Obama assured older voters his healthcare reforms will protect their benefits on Tuesday as he launched an election-year push to counter opposition to the plan after weeks focused on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

With Obama's schedule largely dominated since April by the Gulf oil spill, administration officials have done little publicly to counteract opposition to his healthcare law. Many Republicans, meanwhile, have been focusing on healthcare in campaigning ahead of November elections that could cut into the Democratic majorities in the U.S. Congress.

Obama's speech at a senior citizens' center in the Washington suburb of Wheaton, Maryland, was one of many events around the country to tout the overhaul's advantages for older Americans.

They are considered an essential voting bloc because they show up reliably at the polls on Election Day, and polls show many are nervous about what the new law will do to Medicare, their government health insurance.

"Your guaranteed benefits will not change. Eligibility won't change. Medicare will continue to cover your costs the way it always has. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," Obama told the crowd of about 200 retirees before taking questions at the event and by telephone.

Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress pushed through healthcare reform, his White House's biggest legislative success, in March, after months of bitter partisan wrangling with Republicans, who say the plan is too expensive and an unwarranted government intrusion into a private industry.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell dismissed Obama's renewed health care push as "this major P.R. campaign to try to make something that's immensely unpopular popular."

He said, "And I assume all this is designed to occur before the November election."


Obama took aim at the opposition, who he said have spread "nasty rumors" and misinformation to scare older Americans.

"The death panels, remember those?" he asked, referring to charges from some Republicans during his push to pass the healthcare law that the program would include panels to determine whether the sick and elderly should receive care or be left to die.

"You have an entire party out there that is running on a platform of repeal. They want to roll back all these reform efforts," Obama said.

The event was timed to come before the first mailing on Thursday of $250 rebate checks to help the elderly pay for medications, one of the most popular provisions of the plan, which Obama signed into law in March.

At least 20 of the 50 U.S. states have joined a lawsuit seeking to overturn the sweeping reform of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

The states behind the suit, most with Republican attorneys general, claim the healthcare overhaul violates state government rights in the U.S. Constitution and will force massive new spending on hard-pressed state governments.

Obama told the audience that his plan would cut costs and included provisions to cut wasteful spending, and would not bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs.

Obama also announced new programs to fight Medicare fraud, in another effort to appeal to those older than 65.


The New York Times: Happiness Comes With Age

Whoever said being old was miserable was full of it, and there's a study to prove it. The New York Times published an article ("Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says") about a recent Gallup poll survey that came to a surprising conclusion about the correlation between age and level of happiness. The Conclusion? Despite the aches, pains and difficulties we associate with growing old, as people age they actually get happier. Good news, huh?

According to the article:
The survey, covered more than 340,000 people nationwide, ages 18 to 85, asking various questions about age and sex, current events, personal finances, health and other matters.

The survey also asked about “global well-being” by having each person rank overall life satisfaction on a 10-point scale, an assessment many people may make from time to time, if not in a strictly formalized way.

The results, published online May 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were good news for old people, and for those who are getting old. On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18.
Well, well, isn't that wonderful news! The article takes stabs at why this late-in-life increase in happiness might be: environmental changes, paradigm shifts or, perhaps, changes in brain chemistry. That all sounds reasonable, but here's my guess: good ole retirement! For the entire article, click here.