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Naturally occurring retirement communities are a popular choice

Naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) are communities that were not initially created for seniors, but rather evolved over time to include a substantial percentage of residents who are age 60 or older. The demographics of NORCs are in contrast to those of traditional retirement communities, which tend to be more homogeneous in terms of the residents’ ages. Because NORCs are occupied by many individuals who remained and grew older in their homes rather than moving to a retirement community, they often have interactions with younger neighbors.

One of the benefits of NORCs is that upon meeting certain requirements, such communities become eligible for funding by authorities at the local, state, and federal levels for support services that members of the older population usually require. Among those services are programs aimed at health care management and prevention, case management and social work, education, recreation, social activities and opportunities to volunteer.

NORCs originated in New York City, and are currently located throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. A prime example of one of the advantages offered by a NORC is the Seward Park NORC-SSP Supportive Services Program in NYC, which is a place where the seniors of Seward Park can assemble to organize transportation to their doctor’s office, get a flu shot, register for meals on wheels, and engage in leisure-time activities.

Many NORCs are housing cooperatives of limited equity. When purchasing such a cooperative, you spend a lesser amount than that which you would spend on an apartment that sold at market rate. However, you are not permitted to sell the apartment at market rate; rather, you are required to sell the apartment back to the cooperative at a price that is below market rate, thereby maintaining the affordability of the cooperative.

The elder law attorneys at Hook Law Center assist Virginia families with will preparation, trust & estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, long-term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. To learn more, visit or call 757-399-7506.

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