Construction has begun on a new assisted-living facility for low-income seniors, the first such development in Ward 8.
Slated to open in early 2021, Livingston Place at Southern is a roughly $67 million 5-story project that will provide 152 units of housing for seniors age 60 and above, whose income is 60% of the area median income or less. It’s also geared toward residents who need assistance with at least two “activities of daily living,” health-care parlance for tasks such as bathing, walking and eating.
The complex will join The Marigold at 11th Street in Columbia Heights as an assisted-living residence in which 100% of the units are deemed affordable, says Todd A. Lee, executive director of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, which helped fund the project. Marigold, he notes, has a 10-month waiting list.
“When we talk about seniors housing, generally there are three levels of acuity; there’s independent living, there’s assisted living and there is the nursing-home solution,” Lee says. “What was missing in the District of Columbia was the assisted living — that intermediate level of care.”
Monthly costs at area market-rate facilities can climb as high as $7,000 to $9,000 per month, Lee says. Nationally, the monthly median cost of assisted living is roughly $4,000.
Though the rates at Livingston have not yet been set, they will fall within guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and residents can use a blend of funds from Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, long-term care insurance and savings to cover them. In the District, residents 65 and over comprise some 12 percent of the city’s population, with a median income of about $41,000, according to a 2012 report from the D.C. Office on Aging.
Americans currently in their mid-60s are more likely than not to need long-term care in their later years. Seniors 65 and up are also the fastest-growing population in the country, with one in five Americans projected to be retirement age by 2030.
Dantes Partners, which has also developed several other affordable housing properties in the city, collaborated with Gilbane Development Company and the H Street Community Development Corporation on the project. H Street chief executive Kenneth J. Brewer Sr. says that partnership is likely to continue on future senior developments in the District.