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Improving Access to Safe and
By 2030, one in every five Americans will be over age 65, and our nation will face a severe shortage in appropriate housing to meet their needs. As people age, they need housing that is structurally and mechanically safe and that accommodates people with disabilities. Those 50 and older also need safe communities, adequate transportation options and access to grocery stores, doctors and community activities. AARP Foundation is developing strategies to address the senior housing crisis and make all of our communities affordable and welcoming for people regardless of age or physical ability.
Housing for Older Adults
As people age, their need for safe and affordable housing grows more critical. Yet today,approximately 13 million low-income 50+ households in America cannot afford their housing costs and/or live in inadequate housing. Many are paying over 30 percent of their household income to maintain housing that barely meets their physical needs. Many find themselves forced to choose between paying their mortgage or rent and buying groceries or medicine.
Their high housing costs also make it impossible to perform basic maintenance and add needed
modifications like railings or ramps, making things more unsafe as they — and their homes — age. Many are also victimized by predatory lenders, who seek them out, rob them of their home equity and bury them with debt they cannot afford.
If your home was involved in the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010, you may be eligible for compensation if your lender or loan servicer made any errors. You can request a free Independent Foreclosure Review, but must do so by the end of the year. Watch
This report examines U.S. Census data for insights on the effects of higher housing costs on the ability of older middle-class adults to maintain their lifestyle and save for retirement. Read
This report from Harvard University predicts this year will mark the beginning of a true housing market recovery. Study released June 14, 2012. Read
Programs & Services
Older People And
Whether people 50+ own or rent, the repercussions from the recession are severe - abandoned neighborhoods, rent increases and a decrease in affordable, subsidized housing. Millions of homeowners can neither sell their homes nor receive approval to refinance their mortgages at today’s much lower interest rates.
- 13 million adults 50+ live in unaffordable or unsafe housing
- Nearly 25% of household mortgages are underwater - meaning the mortgage is larger than the current value of the house.
- Foreclosures have been at record levels.
(Senior Housing News, April 1) - A Social Security Administration report indicates that housing expenses lead all others among those 50+, and that both the poorest and those at the lower end of the age spectrum are hit the hardest. Read
(WCBS-TV, March 26) - Across the country, more than 100 developments feature small homes clustered around communal buildings, in some cases including communal kitchens; establishing ground rules for shared space is key. Read
(NYT, Feb. 5) - A recent survey found, surprisingly, that 47 percent of workers between 50 and 70 plan to rely on the equity in their homes to finance their retirement despite the widespread loss in home values. They may have no other choice. Read