Kansas City, Missouri will see a significant increase in its older adult population in the next two decades. One of the major challenges the city will face is providing affordable and suitable housing option for older adults that will allow them to age with dignity in their own neighborhoods and communities. This report, the third in a series of Aging in Place Initiative workshop report, documents an event in Kansas City in 2008 that presented the housing issues and efforts unique to the area, as well as strategies and practices being implemented across the country to ensure older adults will have housing options that will accommodate their desire to age in place. Since the housing challenges faced by Kansas City are similar to those faced by many other cities, the solutions and ideas outlined in the report can serve as a resource for community planners, policymakers, and local leaders everywhere.
Older adults are not finding affordable housing options that would allow them to live independently as they age. The Kansas City workshop explored the specific challenges that add to the central housing crisis for older adults. Solutions are provided for each challenge to illustrate the changes that can be made to ensure aging in place becomes a viable option for all older adults. Some of the challenges addressed in the report include housing designs that are not suitable for aging adults, the struggle for financial security among older adults, dated zoning policies that limit affordable housing options, and Medicare/Medicaid policies that limit the ability of older adults to age in place.
In addition to the challenges and solutions addressed in this report, brief case studies are provided to highlight housing strategies that offer affordable and friendly housing options to older adults. These approaches include housing cooperatives and the naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) model.
How to Use
Because the issues addressed in this report affect communities across the country, community planners, local officials, citizens, and policymakers everywhere can use this report to gain an understanding of the critical role housing plays in aging in place. The challenges and solutions provided throughout the report offer guidance for any community looking for ways to improve housing options for older adults.