This time, the foreclosure crisis is hitting a bunch of retirees all at once.
Fox Hill Senior Condominium, which, according to its website, offers "cosmopolitan living for ages 60+" in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Bethesda, is being threatened with foreclosure, the Washington Post reports. The retirement community was opened at the height of the housing boom in 2008, but with 240 units still unsold, a group of German banks who provided an estimated $100 million loan have had enough.
"Fox Hill is a one-of-a-kind luxury senior condominium community that has, like many excellent high-end condominium projects, fallen victim to an economic crisis," property manager Sunrise Senior Living said in a statement to WaPo.
Fox Hill, according to its website, boasts among its amenities an indoor pool, spa, "state of the art" workout equipment and "resort style dining."
The closure is just the latest sign of the way the foreclosure crisis' profound effect on the nation's retirees and elderly. Just one year after Fox Hill opened in 2009, a study by the AARP found that Americans age 50 and over accounted for 30 percent of home delinquencies, USA Today reports. But it's not just individual homes owned by the elderly that are at risk; properties like Fox Hill, called continuing-care retirement communities, or CCRCs, may be some of the most susceptible to foreclosure.
When several CCRCs began to fail after the housing market collapsed, the Government Accountability Office issued a a 2009 report, cited by the Los Angeles Times, that found the homes were "particularly vulnerable during economic downturns as stagnant real-estate markets drive down occupancy levels in independent living units, which serve as CCRCs' primary source of profit." Entrance fees for CCRCs average $250,000, but can run as high as nearly $1 million.
Even with the steep charge to get into the homes, the residents of retirement and elder-care facilities can face big risks. Often, retirees don't bother to read the fine print before signing on to such communities, leading to financial hardship such as lost deposits and unexpected eviction. In California, for example, board-and-care facilities have no legal obligation to tell residents that the homes may be facing foreclosure, The New York Times reports. As a result, residents can be evicted literally while bedridden.