Report Highlights Housing Insecurity Among Seniors

Older Americans face rising mortgage debt, high costs for medical care and assistance, and a dearth of accessible housing.

1 minute read

December 27, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Senior couple sitting on sofa looking at laptop computer held in the man's lap.

WavebreakMediaMicro / Adobe Stock

A piece in Smart Cities Dive by Austyn Gaffney highlights the growing need for more affordable and accessible housing designed with older people in mind. With 58 million Americans over age 65, “This population is struggling to secure affordable and accessible housing and get the services it needs to stay in such housing,” Gaffney explains, citing a report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Over half of adults over age 80 report at least one disability, and older adults can experience complications with mobility, vision, hearing, cognition or self-care.” Only 14 percent of adults over 75 who live alone can afford a daily caregiver visit, the report states. Meanwhile, older Americans face growing mortgage debt, and many popular retirement destinations are becoming increasingly threatened by climate change and extreme weather.

According to Jennifer Molinsky, project director of the JCHS Housing an Aging Society Program, “More funding would be [a] start, but there is tremendous need for creative alternatives to existing models of care and housing to better support the country’s rapidly aging population.”

More Planetizen stories on aging in place and housing insecurity among older Americans:

Thursday, December 21, 2023 in Smart Cities Dive

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