Rhode Island Working To Help Seniors Age In Place

Even with variety of housing options for seniors, the state still has a long waiting list for units affordable to low-income people.

"There is a growing need to provide more senior housing, especially in urban areas," says Susan Boddington, deputy director of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, the state's affordable-housing agency. The state provides financing programs that enable homeowners to repair or rehabilitate their properties so they can continue to live in them as they age. There are also a variety of age-restricted developments.

In Pawtucket, the Chinese Christian Church of Rhode Island raised $1.8 million to buy and convert a small jewelry factory into 17 one-bedroom units for Chinese seniors. "The 12,000-square-foot two-story building, which became available to tenants in January, is next to the congregation's new church, which was also once a factory. Residents can walk to services and other activities and to a small library in the church's basement that is well stocked with Chinese movies."

In Newport's Harbor House, some residents over age 62 still go to work every day. Harbor House opened in 2002 after $5.8 million in renovation and reconstruction. Rents are based on the income level of tenants, with 31 units reserved for those with incomes below $30,840 a year.

Full Story: Creative Housing Ideas for an Aging Population

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