Organizations refine seniors housing terms

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"Congregate care" no longer exists as a classification for seniors housing, according to the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC) and the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA). The groups announced Wednesday that they had standardized classifications to eliminate conflicting data on construction starts, supply and demand that have been previously reported throughout the industry.

A significant change is the renaming the property type "congregate care" to "independent living." Other property classifications are nursing homes, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), senior apartments and active adult communities.

"For many years, we have seen conflicting data in the industry as a result of different classifications or definitions that were used," said NIC President Robert G. Kramer. "NIC and ASHA are very excited to offer simplified, standardized classifications to ensure that lenders, investors, and operators have access to more useful data."

"This new set of classifications will help our members, as well as the industry at large, set the groundwork for increasing the trustworthiness and availability of the data for those who follow the industry," said ASHA president David Schless.

Last month, NIC also announced the creation of a new seniors housing database for investors, which will profile occupancy rates and other characteristics in 30 major metropolitan areas, starting this summer.