This special section of National Real Estate Investor features the American Seniors Housing Association's (ASHA's) fifth annual compilation of the nation's 25 largest seniors housing owners and 25 largest seniors housing managers.

To ensure the ASHA 25 for 1999 is as complete and accurate as possible, ASHA officials 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, 1999. Companies listed in the ASHA 25 are not required to be members of ASHA, although 92% of all firms that appear in this year's rankings are members.

For purposes of this survey, seniors housing units include congregate 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 aged 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. In addition, this year's rankings do not include properties where more than 30% of the units are licensed for skilled nursing.

Two significant methodological revisions are reflected in this year's survey in an effort to avoid double-counting of units. First, respondents were requested not to report properties owned indirectly through ownership of share in another company. Second, respondents were instructed not to include properties leased from other owners for purposes of calculating the ASHA 25 owners list.

The ASHA 25 was compiled and analyzed by David Schless, Ken Preede and Julie Whitehead of the ASHA staff, who express their appreciation to the industry leaders for their participation in this effort.

In addition to the ASHA 25 and an analysis of its results, this section includes a list of our leadership and members, whose commitment and vitality are so crucial to ASHA's strength. Based in Washington, D.C., ASHA represents the interests of the nation's most prominent firms in the seniors housing industry. ASHA's members are engaged in all aspects of the development and operation of seniors housing, including the ownership, construction, finance and management of such properties.