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Making Room: Housing for a Changing America, a free publication from AARP and the National Building Museum Skip to content

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Make Room for 'Making Room'

A free publication about housing for a changing America

Get a copy of Making Room

The front and back covers of Making Room, a publication of AARP and the National Building Museum

To order a free paperback copy: 

Email with the subject line: Making Room

In the email body, include: 

  • Your Name
  • Street Address
  • Town/City, State, Zip Code
  • Publication number: D20459

We can send one copy per request. Bulk orders will be considered. If seeking additional copies please explain why and identify the organization you are representing, if any. Delivery of the printed publication will be by mail and can take up to 4 weeks.

To download the PDF:

44 spread pages, tabloid-size paper

88 single pages, letter-sized paper

Note: Questions about printed copies should be sent to Email for all other inquiries.

Just as the housing needs of individuals change over a lifetime unprecedented shifts in both demographics and lifestyle have fundamentally transformed our nation’s housing requirements.

  • Adults living alone now account for nearly 30 percent of American households.

  • While only 20 percent of today’s households are nuclear families the housing market largely remains fixated on their needs.

  • By 2030, 1 in 5 people in the United States will be age 65 or over — and by 2035, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time ever.

  • The nation’s housing stock doesn’t fit the realities of a changing America.

Filled with infographics, ideas, solutions, photographs and floor plans from the National Building Museum exhibition of the same name, Making Room: Housing for a Changing America is a rallying cry for a wider menu of housing options.

Like the exhibition, which was curated with the Citizens Housing & Planning Council and funded in part by AARP Foundation, the publication introduces readers — be they residential builders or designers, community leaders or the general public — to a future that can feature a menu of housing options that better serve people of all ages and the needs of a changing America. 

Organized into four parts, Making Room begins with a look at the nation's changing demographics and household types, followed by a collection of more than three-dozen housing solutions and then a "tour" of The Open House, an interactive, furnished demonstration home that was created for the exhibition (by Clei with Resource Furniture) and could seamlessly accommodate three entirely different household living arrangements.

Please encourage others to visit this page,, so the information, ideas, examples and solutions collected here and in our "Housing a Changing America" slideshow can be seen, shared and enjoyed by people of all ages, nationwide. Check out our other free publications by visiting

This is a Winning Publication!

Making Room is a 2019 Hermes Creative Award Gold Winner

Among the competition's approximately 6,000 entires, about 15 percent earned Platinum, the top award, 20 percent received a Gold Award and 10 percent were Honorable Mention winners.

NOTE: Individuals ordering or downloading AARP Livable Communities publications may receive an email from AARP asking them to subscribe to the free, award-winning AARP Livable Communities Weekly e-Newsletter. No action is required to decline a subscription. The message will include a "verify" link to confirm a subscription. Subscribers can unsubscribe at any time. 

Visit 'The House of Freedom'

The last chapter in Making Room looks at two innovative homes, one from the past, the other as imagined for the future.

Skyler, a housing concept envisioned by architect and innovator Matthias Hollwich as a "New Aging Tower," offers residents a home and community for all of life's stages. The House of Freedom, a model home created by AARP in 1961 and presented at the first-ever White House Conference on Aging, introduced "universal design" features that help people safely and independently age in place. Tour the house by watching the video below.

Stay Informed!

If you don't yet subscribe to the free AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter — which is where we announce news and new resources — sign-up now. The publication is weekly and award-winning. You can unsubscribe at any time. 

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