By Steve Moran
I was in Phoenix a few weeks ago for an event and came in a day early to spend some time with Greg Corns, the VP of development, acquisitions, and strategic alliances for Solterra Senior Living, where they are focused on developing and operating senior living communities.
We tackled two distinct topics. The first: tax credit senior living communities (this article). The second, and likely more controversial, will be about why senior living communities might consider embracing rather than hating on staffing agencies.
We met at their BridgeWater Assisted Living, a 140-unit, seven-story, purpose-built community in downtown Phoenix. They work with Berkshire Hathaway and the Department of Housing to create these amazing senior living experiences for older people who have few financial resources.
Why Do This?
We spent a fair amount of time talking about “The Why.” Here is what it looks like:
- From the investors’ standpoint, they get tax credits and depreciation.
- They attract a much younger group of residents, with an average age of 72–74, which is a significant benefit in terms of length of stay. But this comes with its own set of challenges, meaning that many of the residents move in with significant health challenges.
- Marketing and keeping the community full is much easier.
- It makes the world a better place, serving a significantly underserved group of people.
Getting It Done
It is never easy to develop a new senior living community. Doing a tax credit community includes all of the usual entitlement approval processes, then requires some additional complexities. Their communities are 9% tax credit properties, so that needs to be available, and the waiver rate needs to be sufficient to make the community economically viable.
A big part of what they do is use artificial intelligence to do early identification of residents with potential health risks and address those risks preemptively. This gives residents a better quality of life, and it allows them to better control costs and prevents unnecessary big hospital/medical costs.
The needs in this area are great, though not nearly as sexy. But I find myself drawn to the idea that they are serving individuals who are out of options. It is a noble enterprise.