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Successful Aging in Hawaii: A Survey of Developers, Landowners, and Other Land Use Stakeholders

Hawaii's population of residents over 65 years of age is expected to grow by nearly 40 percent in the next 10 years, and the majority (69%) of these residents have expressed the desire to age‐in‐place – to remain in their own homes as they age.

Creating a livable community where one can age‐in‐place successfully takes many partners and significant investments in infrastructure. One critical group of stakeholders is developers and landowners, who make decisions on the types of residential opportunities older adults will have.

In 2009, AARP Hawaii and PATH (Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii) began research in the area of aging-in‐place in Hawaii. This report describes the results of a survey as well as group and individual interviews conducted with developers, landowners, and other land use stakeholders statewide.

The primary goal of this project was to better understand the barriers and opportunities faced by Hawaii's major developers and landowners in building communities where Hawaii's 65+ population can age‐in‐place.

Key findings include:

  • Hawaii's developers, landowners, and other land use stakeholders have a strong understanding of livable community concepts, and the vast majority feel these concepts are important in developing housing products for the Hawaii residential market.
  • Hawaii's developers and landowners feel they currently apply, and are likely to apply in the future, key livable community concepts such as multi‐modal transportation (Now: 65%, Future: 81%), mixed‐use development (Now: 62%, Future: 81%), visitability (Now: 50%, Future: 65%), and walkability (Now: 81%, Future: 88%). Although likelihood is high for future application of these concepts, significant barriers exist that must be addressed by a variety of public and private sector partners.
  • Whereas less than one‐third of Hawaii's developers and landowners have focused on developing housing for Hawaii's 50+ population in the past, more than two‐thirds say their work will be affected by the aging of Hawaii’s population, and half say that housing projects that meet the needs of Hawaii’s 65+ population will be a profitable endeavor for their company.

A 40‐question survey was mailed and emailed to 84 developers, landowners, and other land use stakeholders in the State of Hawaii. A total of 26 completed the survey. In addition, interviews were done with 20 firms statewide on Kauai, Maui, O'ahu, and the Big Island. Please contact Terri Guengerich at 202-434-6306 for more information.

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