The need for affordable housing is skyrocketing for Vermont’s aging population. Low vacancy rates and high housing costs are putting seniors in a pinch and a never-ending waiting list.
For Burlington resident Nan Orshan, a typical day starts at 4 am with mental exercises and a game of cribbage. “Other than that, I’m pretty idle,” says Orshan. Her piano which once rang of show tunes, is now more for show since she’s acquired arthritis.
“All my older family members died at home and I pondered the fact that I can’t really do that. I can’t afford it, but I think even if i had lots of money, it wouldn’t be a good way to live.” For two years, Orshan has been on the waiting list to live in affordable senior housing units at Cathedral Square. “This morning, I just hit my head on the corner of a little shelf and it was such a perfect example of what’s wrong with living this way, you have no one you can call.”
Nan is one of 800 seniors on the growing waiting list at Cathedral Square.