An opportunity to share in the growth of the seniors' services sector.

    Villas 3rd Wave

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Everybody knows about the famous "babyboom" cohort and its ageing. Moreover, many research reports undertaken by, and for the various levels of governments show a "...many major transformations know to society and which indicate the following facets: fragmentation of households, lowers birthrate, changes in the infrastructure of the family unit, growing participation of women in the labour market, decline of marriages, increase in divorces, etc... One can expect that this fragmentation will continue and is accentuated as time progresses. Already, one does not speak any more of a seniors' housing problem, but one reflects on it in terms of autonomy and non-autonomy and, life expectancy helping, one distinguishes now various categories of seniors: 55-64 years, 65-74 years, and 75 years and more..."1

We envisage "...very significant increases in the number of seniors until 2031... approximately 1,600,000 people 65 and more, representing between 21% and 26% of the total population "2, without speaking about "...the proportion 75 years and more... (which) will double between 1986 and 2011..."2. We envisage housing complexes constructed in response to a market which is expanding day by day..." which "...presently reach customers having high incomes, but... (which) will be requested by all the categories of customers."16 "One notes... that between 1991 and 2001, new households are in majority of the type whose supporter is between 45 and 54 years of age; between the year 2001 and 2021... in the majority... will be more than 54 years of age..."17

"Overall, the housing programs,.... by the government's directing their funding towards the most needy households."5 And the less needy ?... They have too much income (over $12,000 annually) to qualify to live in one of these subsidized housing projects ! And condos and other luxury residences ? Too expensive! What to do ? Here is a cohort (people aged from 55 to 65) which will be on average a little more comfortable than their forefathers and which will be able to afford a little more luxury, and more choices. They will prefer services of the luxury type, which will open the gates of the success to all companies ready to be innovative.

But attention ! These same seniors have a desire to also profit. It is no longer a question that only a few benefit... it is also necessary that they benefit as well. "...housing (is) a a product of consumption as well as an investment "1. But "...it remains that seniors-tenants are very likely to experience having to relocate"6 ...especially those who live alone, more often women ("...more than 75% are seniors living alone."7), and thus will not be able to make initial investments as easily as those who are owners or who have substantial incomes. It has become "fashionable" to share... in something which profits greatly. A company with traditional mores of profit will not make friends.

But a company which shares its profits with its "member-residents" will be hugely supported, especially if it offers residences that are clean, accessible, and secure, combined with auxiliary services and products.

And now we have recent search that confirms the extent of the number of seniors who will be in the market for more suitable residences that answer their specialized needs. Seniors wish "...housing complexes at affordable prices which make it possible to overcome the insulation undergone by seniors living alone and to obtain better quality housing, more often better adapted to their needs, while are the same time providing a certain degree of security."9 There are strong indices that they seek housing environments which offer affordable luxury rental units and especially that are clean, the possibility of wholesome meals and social activities, and, more importantly, high-level security, as much for their possessions as their physical health and peace of mind. The majority believe that this image is too grandiose, that they will never be able to treat themselves to such a lifestyle unless they win a lottery, even if they dream of this every day.

Combine that with the fact that "...the majority of the managers expressed their apprehension as to the reduction in autonomy of their older customers."10 and one sees part of the social crisis which awaits us.

With regard to the construction of housing, it is to be noted that "The fragmentation of existing households and the ageing of the population will be major factors for the housing market during the next decades... (and) will force the manufacturers of dwellings to adapt quickly to the needs... and to improve on the traditional methods of residential production..."12

Two indices are to be noted: the average size of households is falling, from 4.2 in 1961 to 3.0 in 1981, then 2.7 in 1986; while "...the percentage of people living alone has more than doubled"13, that is from 7% in 1961 to approximately 21% in 1986.

"Manufacturers... will have... to equip residences with special equipment... and pay particular attention to the details of design... (which) offer residents cafeteria services, hospitality, leisure spaces, medical services, organized activities and other services"14 ... without it costing a fortune to live there. Note "...that the adaptation of residences... would increase the cost of a multiple residence project by (only) 0.5%..."15



Note-1 --- L'impact du vieillissement de la population sur l'habitat : les personnes âgées et leurs besoins résidentiels, de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 7

Note-2 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 9

Note-5 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 15

Note-6 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 18

Note-7 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 19

Note-9 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 27

Note-10 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 28

Note-12 --- Les innovations technologiques en matière d'habitation et la production de logements en dehors des modes traditionnels, rapport d' Andr?Poitras, ingénieur, et Jocelyn Duff, architecte, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 10

Note-13 --- Les innovations technologiques..., rapport d' Andr?Poitras, ingénieur, et Jocelyn Duff, architecte, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 11

Note-14 --- Les innovations technologiques..., rapport d' Andr?Poitras, ingénieur, et Jocelyn Duff, architecte, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 12

Note-15 --- L'impact du vieillissement..., de François Renaud, pour la Sociét?d'habitation du Québec, 1988, page 21





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