A recent working paper considers the implications of housing the nation's aging population.
"Most elderly want to age in place. Yet, most elderly live in suburban and rural communities ill-suited to meet the changing aging-related demands. This paper discusses various issues communities need to address when balancing the demands of aging baby boomers against those of younger households. Accommodating changes in life stage needs requires revising building and zoning codes to permit mixed use and mixed density development incorporating greater varieties of housing units and easier accessibility.
Developing support arrangements for naturally occurring retirement communities will become important for state and local governments. A significant number of aging adults will move to locales with natural and augmented civic amenities. Such migration is double-edged; features that attract "gray gold" also attract needy elderly. Finally, affordable housing will be an issue for a growing number of elderly, calling for targeted and financial assistance policies for lower income elderly homeowners.
Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP