AARP Foundation sponsored a just-released report by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University called “Housing America’s Older Adults — Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population.” The report highlights the many challenges the nation faces in providing affordable and adequate housing to an aging demographic whose numbers are increasing year by year. Learn a few key findings from the report.
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 19 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.
About 60 volunteers updated the homes of veteran Garry Brown and military widow Verna Powell 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.
- 19 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.
(The Wall Street Journal, June 2014) - As the population grows older, engineers and health experts are searching for new ways to prevent elderly people from injuring themselves at home. In doing so, they hope to keep people in their homes longer, a concept known as aging in place. Read
(AARP, May 2014) - The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the voluntary recall of more than 100,000 adult bed rails that it says can pose a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death. Read