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

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Aeriel view of white sheep grazing on green grass between rows of solar panels.

Coming Soon to Ohio: The Largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the US

The ambitious 6,000-acre project will combine an 800-watt solar farm with crop and livestock production.

April 24, 2024 - Columbus Dispatch

Rendering of wildlife crossing over 101 freeway in Los Angeles County.

World's Largest Wildlife Overpass In the Works in Los Angeles County

Caltrans will soon close half of the 101 Freeway in order to continue construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.

April 15, 2024 - LAist

Wind turbines and solar panels against a backdrop of mountains in the Mojave Desert near Palm Springs, California

California Grid Runs on 100% Renewable Energy for Over 9 Hours

The state’s energy grid was entirely powered by clean energy for some portion of the day on 37 out of the last 45 days.

April 24 - Fast Company

Close-up of hand holding up wooden thermometer in front of blurred street

New Forecasting Tool Aims to Reduce Heat-Related Deaths

Two federal agencies launched a new, easy-to-use, color-coded heat warning system that combines meteorological and medical risk factors.

April 24 - Associated Press via Portland Press Herald

View of Dallas city skyline with moderately busy freeway in foreground at twilight.

AI Traffic Management Comes to Dallas-Fort Worth

Several Texas cities are using an AI-powered platform called NoTraffic to help manage traffic signals to increase safety and improve traffic flow.

April 24 - Dallas Morning News

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.