Once, these edifices were the bulwarks against illness. Today, they're part of the cure for the malaise afflicting housing availability. Nationwide, vacant hospitals, mental institutions and sanitariums are being recast as newly-opened apartment buildings. In communities from Los Angeles to New York City, and from Charlottesville, Va. and Washington, D.C. to Denver, the doors of shuttered healing centers are swinging back open to admit residents.
One Chicago-based developer is taking the hospital-to-housing trend one step further, to offer affordable housing to those who need it most. It is transforming old and abandoned hospitals into multifamily structures offering affordable housing for low-income seniors. In Aurora, Ill., a far western suburb of Chicago, Evergreen Real Estate Group acquired the former St. Charles Hospital, an historic Art Deco structure, and brought it back to life as Aurora St. Charles Senior Living, a 60-unit independent living facility near downtown Aurora that includes 44 units affordable for seniors at or below 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and six units each for those earning 30 and 60 percent or less of AMI.
Read Forbes' article "Vacant Hospitals Help Address Ills Of Limited Affordable Senior Housing," featuring the Chicago Housing Authority.