Opinion: Housing Reforms Critical for Older Americans

Older adults are some of the most vulnerable to threats of eviction and displacement driven by escalating housing costs.

2 minute read

March 3, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Senior Mobility

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In an opinion piece in Connecticut's Darien Times, Kathleen Callahan argues that stable, affordable housing is "a crucial social determinant of health" for older adults, criticizing the town of Stratford's recent decision to opt out of a state bill that legalized accessory dwelling units (ADUs). According to Callahan, "ADUs enable elderly residents of Fairfield County to remain in their communities, perhaps living with an adult son or daughter or with a caregiver."

During her campaign for Stratford Town Council, says Callahan, "I heard from people who had hoped to remain in town after retirement but are considering other options due to the cost of living and limited transportation options. Some told me they would be moving closer to children who couldn’t afford to return after college." As she states, "Stratford’s elders have high rates of home ownership and financial insecurity resulting in limited choices and potential tragedy for individuals and families."

In lieu of legalized 'granny flats,' Callahan supports the development of transit-oriented communities with multifamily housing that can keep elderly residents closer to family and within reach of public transportation. "By building affordable and accessible homes near public transit, we can make it more affordable for elderly residents of Fairfield County to remain in their communities. We can also create housing for them near public transportation, so they do not have to rely on cars to access essential services."

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 in The Darien Times

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