Tax breaks for senior housing projects are widespread nationally and rarely attract opposition.
Politicians and developers alike constantly remind us that retired people, w few exceptions, cannot afford market-rate apartments.
A columnist in Buffalo thinks otherwise.
David Robinson writing in the Buffalo News cites a study conducted by the University at Buffalo showing that fewer than one percent of seniors leave the Buffalo metropolitan area every year because of housing costs. Buffalo is in New York State, which has one of the nation’s highest tax rates.
If seniors are not fleeing high tax Buffalo because of housing costs then why continue the subsidies? The developments in question are usually not low-income senior housing but middle-income.
A select few benefit
The subsidies for new senior housing in the Buffalo region encouraged older residents to move into them. However, without the subsidies, the seniors would mostly stay put.
The biggest winners were those seniors who were able to move into modern buildings w the latest amenities at discounted rents. A few thousand at most in any given year according to the study.
Nationally, only five percent of seniors cite housing costs as the reason for moving. Seniors are less mobile as a whole than younger age groups.
Voting against subsidies for senior housing may become more common because of the U at Buffalo study, particularly in states w smaller tax burdens (FL, AZ, TN).