New senior apartment complex will fill up fast

Recently built Vista Court has a long waiting list

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"Growing Older in Clark County" outlines the future needs of Clark County's older population in terms of housing, health care, transportation and social well-being. It was compiled by Clark County Aging Readiness Task Force.

“Growing Older in Clark County” outlines the future needs of Clark County’s older population in terms of housing, health care, transportation and social well-being. It was compiled by Clark County Aging Readiness Task Force.

A new apartment complex is now open to Clark County’s poorest senior citizens.

But there’s only room for 76 such households in the $16 million Vista Court, newly completed in downtown Vancouver.

Residents will be chosen from a wait list of more than 200 seniors 62 and older who want to live in the complex at West Mill Plain Boulevard and Esther Street.

“We just received the certificate of occupancy,” said Steve Towell, a spokesman for the Vancouver Housing Authority, the project’s developer. “We now have permission to start allowing folks to move into the building.”

Need expected to surge

Clark County’s need for senior housing is expected to surge over the next two decades, according to a new report on the county’s aging population of baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964.

Released in September, the county’s aging readiness plan, called “Growing Older in Clark County,” projects the proportion of people 60 and older will increase 158 percent to represent about one out of every four residents by 2030.

Despite the growing need for senior housing, Towell said the VHA’s new Vista Court complex could be the last development of its kind for a while. That could come as disheartening news for the roughly 800 senior households who are among the 3,000 families on the VHA’s low-income and subsidized housing waiting list.

Vista Court was developed to accommodate independent-living for seniors and is expected to fill in the next 90 days, Towell said.

After that, seniors who are already on the agency’s list will continue to wait, while people not yet on the list can apply through the VHA.

“Overall, we’re probably averaging between a three- and four-year wait,” Towell said.

The Vancouver Housing Authority develops and provides housing for low-income individuals, families and seniors in Clark County. The agency serves approximately 7,500 people in VHA-owned housing and distributes Section 8 vouchers — a federal rental assistance program.