Publications

- November 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 10

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A clearer picture: Senior housing endures despite pandemic pressures

by Kali Persall

As COVID-19 continues to shift the landscape for investors, much has been said about the senior housing sector — not all of which is entirely accurate. Popular news coverage of senior housing amid the pandemic has grimly focused on the high infection and mortality rates at skilled nursing facilities — which follow a heavily medical model more akin to hospitals — conflating this sector with hospitality-based senior housing. Despite these early cynical generalizations, however, experts say the senior housing sector is not only well-positioned to withstand the pandemic, but also to evolve because of it.

Senior housing, which is classified as an amalgam of independent living, assisted living and memory care, has been uniquely affected by the pandemic. While it is true that some sectors have experienced significant challenges as a result of COVID-19, the challenges facing the sector have often been dramatized in the media, says Beth Mace, chief economist and director of outr

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