A bad flu season is taking a toll on assisted living facilities

At least three publicly traded landlords have reported a drop in share price

Rendering of Riverwalk Residences
Rendering of Riverwalk Residences

An especially bad flu season is taking a toll on senior and assisted living facilities.

Sick residents have moved out and some landlords and operators have shut their doors to new occupants for fear of spreading the virus. The overall effect is weighing down revenues for senior-housing landlords and operators, according to Bloomberg.

The early start to the influenza season has also resulted in lower occupancy levels than in years past, experts say. And costs associated with paying employees overtime to cover shifts for workers who call in sick has further hurt landlords.

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According to the publication, shares from publicly traded landlords Welltower Inc., Ventas Inc. and HCP Inc., have dropped at least 15 percent this year.

Despite the rough season, senior and assisted living facilities continue to capture the attention of developers. With baby boomers aging into retirement, demand for senior housing facilities is expected to rise.

Ocean Land Investments, for instance, is building a 401-unit senior and assisted living facility in downtown Fort Lauderdale. In New York, the private-equity firm Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors recently announced plans to convert 21 Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights into luxury rentals for seniors. [Bloomberg]Amanda Rabines