The number of healthy elderly people unable or unwilling to maintain an independent household is growing. One option is senior housing: apartment-style living with various levels of services.
"Senior housing gives them a sense of freedom," said L. Robin DuBrin, an attorney and real estate finance professional. "It creates a happier, better balanced lifestyle."
Ms. DuBrin believes the demand for such housing has created an investment opportunity that should be attractive to pension funds. She is a founder of Columbia DuBrin Realty Advisors, Seattle, which is trying to raise $100 million to acquire, build and finance senior housing. The investment could be structured as a commingled fund or as a separate account.
The strategy focuses on three types of senior housing facilities: independent living, congregate care and assisted living.
In an independent living facility, residents have an apartment or cottage with few services and limited help.
Congregate care is apartment living with some amenities. The usual services are three meals a day, community activities, weekly cleaning and bus service for shopping and visits to the doctor.
Assisted living is for those needing daily assistance. A licensed practical nurse is on hand for at least part of the day.
Ms. DuBrin plans to target seniors 75 and older with incomes from $15,000 to $35,000.
Columbia Pacific Group is Ms. DuBrin's partner in the investment advisory firm. CPG initially will be responsible for due diligence work but also will use its affiliations with specialists in senior housing to provide management and development services to the advisory firm.
L. Robin DuBrin believes pension funds can benefit from senior citizen housing centers.