Affordable Seniors Developer Launches New Website Targeting Its Market
Searching online for market-rate apartments to rent is the norm these days, and ANHC believes that seniors are also picking up on this trend.
By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Fishers, Ind.—Searching online for market-rate apartments to rent is the norm these days, a considerable improvement from the time when apartment-hunting meant driving around a neighborhood or poring over the classified ads in the newspaper. According to AHEPA National Housing Corp. (ANHC), a specialist in affordable seniors housing, that kind of search is becoming the norm for its target demographic as well. The company recently launched an updated and more user-friendly website to test that hypothesis.
The site allow searches for housing, but it also lists property amenities, provides maps to the properties, and makes inquiring about an ANHC community a clear procedure. Seniors wishing to live in an ANHC property are asked to fill out an online application to determine their eligibility, a process designed to streamline applications.
Applicants must be 62 or older, though for two people, only one person must meet that minimum age requirement. In some communities, people aged 18 to 61 requiring a mobility-accessible unit will qualify. Each property also has income guidelines established by HUD, with monthly rent calculated after qualification. The resident portion of the rent will not exceed 30 percent of the adjusted gross monthly income, or 10 percent of the monthly gross income, whichever is greater.
Seniors are—perhaps stereotypically—assumed to be less likely to access websites for information, and it is true, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that only 41.9 percent of people over age 75 own a computer, compared with percentages in the 80s for people 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 years old (in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available). Sixty-four percent of those aged 65-74 own computers, however. The 2008 numbers represent large increases in computer ownership among the elderly compared with the year 2000, but nevertheless a good many seniors still don’t see the need for such a machine in their homes.
How, then, can ANHC get its message out about its new resource? For one thing, the company knows that the families of most seniors will have access to the new website, and be able to help their elderly relatives with it.
“We’re spreading the word about our website through all of our marketing materials, including our property brochures and ads, and a YouTube video we created that guides seniors and their families through the website,” Arthur Poly, CEO of AHEPA National Housing Corp., tells MHN. He also stresses that “we comply with Fair Housing requirements and offer equal housing opportunity to eligible disabled persons and seniors with our apartment communities.”
Established in 1983, Fisher, Ind.-based ANHC develops HUD-subsidized Section 202 housing for the disabled and the low-income elderly, ages 62 and up. Currently about 4,700 senior citizens live in 87 properties that the organization has developed. AHEPA Management Co., a wholly owned subsidiary, provides property management and support services for ANHC properties.