This special section of National Real Estate Investor features the American Seniors Housing Association's (ASHA's) 11th annual compilation of the nation's largest seniors housing owners and managers.

To ensure the accuracy of the ASHA 50 for 2004, ASHA gathered names of prospective ranked companies from every available source. A senior officer from each firm was contacted for the information included in the rankings, which is current as of July 1, 2004. Companies listed in the ASHA 50 are not required to be members of ASHA, although most firms that appear in this year's rankings are ASHA members.

For purposes of this survey, seniors housing units include independent living units and assisted living units, as well as skilled nursing beds which are part of a larger retirement living complex (such as a CCRC), and include rental, entrance fee, condominium and cooperative units designed and operated exclusively for adults ages 55 years and over. Units where residents receive Section 8 or equivalent rental subsidies, single-family homes, hotel rooms, stand-alone skilled nursing beds, or mobile home units and pads are not included. Additionally, the ASHA 50 rankings do not include properties where more than 30% of the units are licensed for skilled nursing.

Respondents were directed not to report properties owned indirectly through ownership of shares in another company and were instructed not to include properties leased from other owners for purposes of calculating the ASHA 50 owners list.

The ASHA 50 was compiled and analyzed by David Schless, Ken Preede and Doris Kerr of the ASHA staff, who express their appreciation to the industry leaders for their participation in this effort.

In addition to the ASHA 50 and an analysis of its results, this section includes a list of ASHA leadership and members. Based in Washington, D.C., ASHA provides leadership for the seniors housing industry on legislative and regulatory matters, advances research, education, and the exchange of strategic business information, and promotes the merits of seniors housing.

For those readers interested in more information about the activities and resources of ASHA, please log on to the Web site at: www.seniorshousing.org or call (202) 237-0900.