Today, nearly 90 percent of older adults say they want to stay in their home or community for as long as possible, or to “age in place.” There are many benefits to aging in place, including lower costs for home-based care, sustained connections to friends and family, and a sense of independence and autonomy that keeps many older adults connected, stimulated, and engaged in daily life. Many older adults would also like opportunities to transition to a smaller, more appropriate housing arrangement in their neighborhood, like a condo or apartment that offers single-level living or elevators and a reduced maintenance burden.
Housing options in our communities should reflect these evolving needs and expectations. A livable community provides a range of homes that are safe, accessible, and affordable to older adults, in locations with access to retail, transportation and social services. This range should include supportive housing arrangements, such as assisted living, that are affordable for people of low and moderate incomes. Most communities, however, face major economic and political challenges to providing a diverse array of housing stock, including apartments, home-sharing options, and compact housing. The case studies in this section are examples of how, in the face of these challenges, communities across the United States are instituting practices to create livable housing options for older adults.
Supportive Housing: Grandfamily Housing
Bronx, New York
The Grandfamily Apartments are an innovative housing development coupled with supportive services for grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Supportive Housing: WellElder Program
San Francisco Bay Area, California
WellElder is a supportive service program helping older residents in federally-subsidized housing stay healthy in their affordable homes.
*This case study is cross-posted under Health and Wellness.
Home Repair and Chores: Rent-a-Kid
Students build relationships with older adults while earning a little extra cash.