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Demand for affordable senior housing grows in Williamson County

Posted at 5:03 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 20:02:33-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's a dire need for more affordable senior housing in Williamson County as the community continues to grow.

Private companies have stepped in to build an influx of nursing homes, retirement communities, and senior living communities. Franklin Alderman Pearl Bransford said those who can afford it are okay, but those who can't, are being left behind.

Bransford said, "That's where the crisis is, and that's where places like the Franklin Housing Authority come in, and they fill up before the last brick is laid."

Several years ago, the Franklin Housing Authority built the Reddick Senior Residence which houses low income seniors. Bransford said the building is full, and there's a long waiting list.

"Those who can't afford the high cost of new properties, or improved properties, are saying, 'I don't know what I'm going to do,'" Bransford said.

According to a Middle Tennessee State University study, by 2027 there will be nearly 63,000 seniors living in Williamson County. According to the Department of Labor, demand for workers in nursing care facilities is expected to grow 15% over 7 years in Tennessee, so getting enough trained workers to take care of older residents will be a challenge.

"We are very attractive, so we have an influx of people wanting to be a part of our community," Bransford said.

The Franklin Housing Authority's Chickasaw Senior Community is still under construction. It's unclear when it might open.