America has a rapidly greying population. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of older adults over 65 years old will outnumber those under 18 by 2035. That leaves a looming housing crisis that the country is ill-prepared to handle. Apartment redevelopment may offer a solution to some of these housing issues facing an aging population.
Seniors Want To Age at Home
Although many older adults will move in with family or be placed into nursing facilities, a growing number want to age in their homes. Aging in place helps keep health care costs lower and preserves a sense of community for many seniors. Despite their desire to age at home, many seniors will not be able to afford upgrades and modifications to make their homes accessible.
A Dearth of Affordable Housing
Unfortunately, there is a serious lack of housing that is both affordable and accessible. If this Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report is correct, there will be more than 17 million households headed by an older adult that will contain someone with a mobility disability by 2035.
Redevelopment can help create affordable housing that is designed around the unique needs of senior adults. By taking older, run-down buildings and creating accessible apartments that are suitable for disabled seniors, it addresses this serious concern.
Crumbling Older Communities
Many older communities are suffering as seniors move out and into more accessible communities. Responsible redevelopment can help preserve those communities and potentially keep seniors among their friends and families. It is a model that is commonly practiced among real estate investors already. For example, Steven Taylor Taylor Equities founder has made a practice of purchasing neglected apartment complexes in communities that have experienced a decline.
Aging in place is an ideal solution for older adults. It helps keep health care costs down, and it can preserve the vitality of communities. Using existing building stock to create accessible and affordable housing could help address many of the roadblocks to housing an aging population.