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Expanding the Supply of Senior Housing in Brookline: A Virtual Forum

New housing for seniors is coming to Brookline. A virtual forum sponsored by BrooklineCAN on September 10, 2020 looked at the new housing developments for seniors that are in the works in Brookline. Jennifer Molinsky of the Harvard University Joint Center on Housing provided the context by speaking on "Housing America's Older Adults."

The panel included:

  • Mike Jacobs, chair of the Brookline Housing Authority speaking about plans for replacement and expansion of the Col. Floyd development.
  • Rhonda Glyman of Center Communities spoke about Hebrew Senior Life's plans for a new residential building on Centre Street.
  • Cheryl Fever and Michael Schonbrun spoke about the Welltower/Balfour senior living community planned for the Newbury College site on Fisher Hill.
  • Cindy Katzeff of 2Life spoke about both the Brown Family House on Harvard Street that is currently under construction.
  • Amy Schectman of 2Life spoke about plans for an affordable senior housing development on the site of the Kent-Station Street parking lot.
The forum was produced in conjunction with the Brookline Interactive Group (BIG).

Link to audio only

Models for Senior Housing Development

Sponsors:The Brookline Select Board , the Economic Development Advisory Board, the Brookline Council on Aging, the Advisory Council on Public Health, and the Brookline Community Aging Network (BrooklineCAN).

What are the alternatives for new housing serving seniors?  Can they work in Brookline?

From a panel discussion on Sunday April 7, 2013.

The first 41 minutes of the forum were video recorded by Brookline Access Television (BATV). After the 41 minute mark, the video shows the slides with a repetitive music loop in the background. Direct link here.

Speaker Bios

Informal notes on the forum. Joanna Baker, a Town Meeting member in precinct 13, took extensive notes on the forum for her own use. Joanna has agreed to share the notes with others. To see Joanna's notes, click here.

Demographic Forces Affecting Senior Housing
Frank Caro
Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston and BrooklineCAN

The aging of the baby boom generation will bring a dramatic increase in demand for senior housing over the next 20 years. The expanded housing supply should be responsive to the diversity among older people with respect to health, financial resources, and living arrangements. 12 slide presentation.

Senior Housing in Brookline: What We Have
Michael  Jacobs
Development Consultant, Housing Advisory Board member, Brookline Housing Authority Commissioner

Brookline currently offers over 1,000 housing units for seniors and other adults with disabilities.  Nearly 500 are low-income rental units provided by the Brookline Housing Authority in seven developments. Hebrew Senior Life is the largest nonprofit provider with over 500 low-and mixed-income rental units in three buildings. Brookline also has two assisted living facilities and two nursing homes. 7 slide presentation.

Supportive Senior Housing: Options for Brookline
Amy Schectman
President and CEO, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly

Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly is a major nonprofit provider of congregate housing in the Boston area with 1200 units in six buildings. However, none are in Brookline. The vast majority are deeply subsidized. Residents receive extensive services at a cost far below that of nursing home care. The model is effective in promoting the well-being of residents, avoiding nursing home placement, and extending lives. 20 slide presentation.

Models for Senior Housing Development
James C. Coughlin
CEO, The Northbridge Companies

Northbridge developments in Eastern Massachusetts offer a combination of independent living, assisted living, and more care. Although most residents pay market rates, some subsidies are available. Developments range in size from 85 to 110 units. 16 slide presentation.

Models for Senior Housing Development: Center Communities of Brookline
Dorothy Kelly Gay
Vice President of Government Relations, Hebrew SeniorLife

Center Communities provide supportive housing in three locations close to Coolidge Corner. Center Communities is part of Hebrew Senior Life which offers diverse housing and services with over 5000 units in the Boston area. Center Communities provides extensive service-supported housing at a cost well below that of typical assisted living facilities. Center Communities would like to build additional senior housing on the properties it owns on Center Street. 33 slide presentation.

Rogerson Communities: Evolution of an Affordable Housing Program
James F. Seagle, Jr.
President, Rogerson Communities

Since 1956 Rogerson Communities has been developing and operating affordable, service-supportive rental housing for seniors in the Boston area. Rogerson has specialized in adapting existing buildings for developments that vary greatly in size. Pictures are shown of 20 Rogerson developments. 22 slide presentation.

Northland Is New England
John C. Dawley
President and CEO, Northland Residential Corporation

Northland is a developer of market-rate housing for "active adults."  The developments illustrated are on relatively large parcels of land. Four projects are summarized ranging in size from 94 to 241 units. 13 slide presentation.


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