Why the BA’s “niche community” is generating so much interest

Niche retirement communities are getting a lot of press these days. These “niche” or “affinity” retirement communities bring together people that share similar interests, religions, professional backgrounds, or lifestyles.

In an article in the Los Angeles Times educator Andrew Carle, who directs the assisted-living and senior-housing program at George Mason University in Virginia, says that “Niche communities represent the future of senior housing because of the sheer size of the baby boomer population…In the future, there will likely be niche communities for nearly every interest group.” He goes on to explain that niche housing currently represents only a small segment of senior housing — less than 1%. “But I believe it will grow to as much as a third of the market in the next 30 years.”

For Christian Scientist’s, the BA’s niche community offers more than a shared religion and lifestyle. Here are some comments from community residents:

  •  “I love coming home to this sense of peace and harmony.”
  • “The healing atmosphere here is like living in a Reading Room.”
  • “I never realized that living in a community of like-minded individuals with the same religion and lifestyle could be so uplifting.”
  • “There’s always something new happening, and I’ve met Christian Scientists from around the world that have come to Boston to work, retire, and attend their Association or Christian Science Nurses Training classes.”

In addition to the healing atmosphere, the BA’s niche community offers a focus on church-related activities – such as programs at The Mary Baker Eddy Library, Longyear Museum, or local membership at The Mother Church. There is an opportunity to be a part of any number of church activities, and all with staff and other residents who share the same support and love of church. And of course I haven’t even mentioned the rich diversity of educational, historical, and cultural activities that the Boston area is famous for, and which are easily accessible from the BA campus.

The BA’s community also expands beyond senior housing to multi-generational housing, with summer interns and workers at The Mother Church and other Christian Science organizations, as well as Mother Church members who need interim housing. There’s a wonderfully diverse and dynamic group of people living on the BA’s campus.

I think the added appeal for Christian Scientists who have visited or worked at The Mother Church, attended Annual Meeting, or Associations in the area, is that coming to live at the BA often feels like coming home.


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