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Local Government Adoption of Aging-Friendly Policies and Programs in the San Francisco Bay Area (2010)

Overview

As the age shift approaches, aging-friendly policies and programs must be implemented to allow for healthy and successful aging in place of older adults. This report examines a surveycompleted by city planners, community development directors, and housing specialists in the San Francisco Bay Area to determine the aging-friendly policies and programs that have been adopted by local governments regarding community design, housing, transportation, health and supportive services, and opportunities for community engagement.

Key Points

The report discusses the extent to which cities, counties and transit agencies in the Bay Area and across the country have implemented age-friendly programs and infrastructure changes to foster aging in place. The majority of county transportation authorities and public transit agencies are helping older adults use public transit systems by improving accessibility andreducing fares for older riders. Mixed-used neighborhoods and infrastructure changes to improve community walkability are among the most commonly implemented age-friendly programs in the Bay Area.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Incentives for developers who guarantee units for seniors. In California, new residential developments can receive a density bonus from the city when they designate 50 percent of their units to senior residents.
  2. Discounted transit fares. Public transit agencies are required by federal law to reduce fares for older adults by at least 50 percent during off-peak hours.
  3. Incentives to create mixed-use neighborhoods. Many cities are establishing programs that offer incentives for developers creating mixed-use neighborhoods, like waiving parking requirements or permit fees.

How to Use

Planners and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of current aging-friendly policies and programs intended to improve the livability of communities and make aging in place a viable option for older adults. The report offers information about the key characteristics of aging-friendly communities, as well as recommendations for planners looking to implement changes within their community that will facilitate successful aging in place.

View full report: Local Government Adoption of Aging-Friendly Policies and Programs in the San Francisco Bay Area (2010) (PDF – 525 KB)