When Aging in Place in Darien conducted focus groups a couple of years ago, several respondents told us that they would have to move away from our town because they couldn't afford to stay. Our recent quantitative research confirmed such comments. Housing and taxes are just too expensive for some seniors.
Even though most seniors have paid off their mortgages, other living expenses still abound and keep climbing as people hire employees to help them with more daily tasks. Social Security provides only a portion of most seniors' income; and interest rates paid on savings accounts, CDs and government bonds are very low. Cash flows for many are withering away. So when property taxes, upkeep, food, utilities and the price of services all rise, staying in a large home in a place like Darien becomes more difficult financially.
Darien has only 30 affordable housing units set aside for seniors. And it has very few market-rate condos or rentals. Because affordable housing has become a very hot topic in my town, and because I'm interested in helping seniors, I decided to see what neighboring suburban towns are offering by calling the local Housing Authorities and other government agencies. Here is what I've learned:
Darien - 30
Greenwich - 291
New Canaan - 119
Westport - 50
Wilton - 115
In Wilton, some of the assisted living and senior residences that rent at market rates have units set aside that are affordable. This is the case at the Greens at Cannondale and at Sunrise Senior Living. I wish we had affordable spaces at Atria in Darien. I also wonder why the old nursing home that now stands empty on the Post Road can't be turned into a mixture of market-rate and affordable senior apartments. I wish that either the former library could become the new senior center and the old senior center could become affordable senior housing (or visa versa).
I'd love to know how others feel. Post your comments.
There is clearly a need.
Hello, I am looking for senior living in the fairfield county area. I do not have any savings and only live off of my social security checks. I am trying to find an affordable place on social security, Can anyone help me out with some info of where I should turn to? Any advice will be appreciated!
Thank-you very much
You can contact the housing authority and social or senior services in the towns you're interested in living in. They may be able to guide you. I know Darien has some new, privately built, affordable apartments on the Post Road Old King's Highway North. They have open houses every weekend. Drive by.
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