October 11, 2016

Senior Housing’s Senior Housing

If you haven’t been in the market for yourself or a loved one for senior housing, you may not realize it that SF Bay Areas boasts two historical giants. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek and the Sequoias in San Francisco (that tall building on Geary at Laguna).


Rossmoor was one of the very first independent living complexes built in the country. It was started in 1964 by a developer called, wait for it, Ross. It was built with HUD funding for low and moderate income seniors. It was built to be affordable for people like teachers, secretaries, others on the lower end of the middle class pay scales. It had a sister development in Laguna called Leisure World (Rossmoor was also initially called Leisure World). The HUD loan (40 years) has long been paid off, and Rossmoor is certainly no longer available to low and moderate income people. The units in Rossmoor are either condos or coops and are just like buying real estate elsewhere (with a few more rules!).


The Sequoias was also built in the 60’s and was a precursor to today’s Continuing Care Residential Communities (providing Independent, assisted, skilled and memory care). One does buy into the Sequoias but one does not own real estate, one owns the right to live and receive care there for the rest of their lives.

Many things from the 60’s didn’t work out well because they were experimental and there was not very much research on senior needs. But the Sequoias and Rossmoor kept learning and kept getting better. They really have got it down pat now.

As always the San Francisco Bay Area was there first.

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