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The Forgotten Middle: NIC’s Middle Market Seniors Housing Study Soon to be Released

The long-awaited results of “The Forgotten Middle:  Middle Market Seniors Housing Study” will soon be released, in conjunction with two upcoming events. A peer-reviewed manuscript, two perspective articles, and two blog posts, all to be published by Health Affairs, will be released at the upcoming Health Affairs policy forum in Washington, D.C. on April 24th. The complete study will be released at the upcoming NIC Investor Summit in New York on May 21st.

Funded by a grant from NIC and conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, the groundbreaking study defines and quantifies the middle-income seniors’ cohort by its demographic characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, education and marital status.  It overlays care needs on top of these demographics and quantifies what portion of the cohort will have cognitive impairment, chronic conditions and mobility limitations.  Thus, the study provides a glimpse into what the housing and care needs will be for this group of seniors today and in the year 2029.   It then provides an assessment of what portion of this population will have the financial resources available to pay for their needs.  The study does not provide solutions to housing and care options for this burgeoning cohort but shines a spotlight on the need for finding solutions for workforce housing for seniors.

The middle market includes Americans whose financial resources disqualify them for government support programs such as Medicaid but are not enough to pay most private pay options for very long.  Those who have spent their careers as healthcare workers, teachers, government workers and trade union members are counted among the many in this middle-income segment.

In addition to providing data to inform housing and healthcare policy, this research provides insights for institutional investors, capital providers and operators.  We hope it serves to spark a national discussion among policy makers and private sector entrepreneurs on how housing and services can be provided to the underserved middle-income senior.

The results of The Forgotten Middle:  Middle Market Seniors Housing Study are being presented at two events:

Health Affairs Policy Forum –OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

  • April 24, 2019 policy briefing at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC
  • Release of Health Affairs manuscript by David Grabowskiof Harvard University, Caroline Pearson of NORC at the University of Chicago, Charlene Quinn of the University of Maryland and others
  • Release of two Perspectives articles:
    • John Rowe, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, on “Facilitating Societal Adaptation to Aging”
    • Jennifer Molinsky, Harvard University, on “What Can Be Done to Better Support Aging in Community?”
  • Blog posts by Bob Kramer, Founder and Strategic Advisor, NIC and Anne Tumlinson of ATI—Anne Tumlinson Innovations
  • Event sponsored by NIC with the SCAN Foundation, John A. Hartford Foundation, AARP and the AARP Foundation
  • To learn more, visit the Health Affairs website

NIC Middle Market Investor Summit –EVENT FULL

  • May 21, 2019 investor briefing at the Yale Club in New York City
  • Release of full study with an executive summary, detailed charts and interactive tool
  • Analytic file for further research
  • Event sponsored by NIC with Institutional Real Estate, Inc. (IREI) and Real Capital Analytics (RCA)
  • To learn more, contact NIC at

Join the discussion.  Together, let’s figure out housing and care options that meet the needs of our middle-income seniors.

Please visit to access content related to the study, which will be added April 24th and May 21th, in conjunction with the two briefing events.

About the Author

Beth Burnham Mace

Beth Burnham Mace is the Chief Economist and Director of Outreach at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Prior to joining the staff at NIC, she served as a member of the NIC Board of Directors for seven years and chaired NIC’s Research Committee. Ms. Mace was also a Director at AEW Capital Management and worked in the AEW Research Group for 17 years. Prior to joining AEW in 1997, Ms. Mace spent ten years at Standard & Poor’s DRI/McGraw-Hill as the Director of the Regional Information Service. She also worked as a Regional Economist at Crocker Bank, the National Commission on Air Quality, the Brookings Institution and Boston Edison.

Ms. Mace is a member of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), ULI’s Senior Housing Council and New England Women in Real Estate (NEWIRE/CREW). In 2014, she was appointed a fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute and was awarded the title of a “Woman of Influence” in commercial real estate by Real Estate Forum Magazine and Globe Street. Ms. Mace is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A.) and the University of California (M.S.). She has also earned The Certified Business Economist™ title (CBE) from the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). Ms. Mace is often cited in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Seniors Housing Business, Seniors Housing News and McKnight’s Senior Living and has a bi-monthly column in the National Real Estate Investor.
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