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Affordable Housing , Reports and Publications , Supportive Housing

New Report Summarizes Housing Needs for Senior Citizens

16 January 2019
Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Housing America’s Older Adults provides an overview of the need for housing for seniors that are experiencing or at risk of experiencing housing instability. According to the report, in the last five years, the U.S. population age 50 and over has increased by 10.5 million people, and 55 percent of households are headed by someone over the age of 50. The majority of older adults live on a fixed income which limits the amount of money they have to spend on housing costs.

Key findings from the report include:

• Older adults are more likely to live in low-density areas, which often have limited housing options and services availability.
• Older adults who own their homes are less likely to live alone than older renters. Homeowners are more likely to have accumulated wealth than renters. There is an increasing trend in the number of older homeowners that are carrying mortgage debt into retirement.
• Older African-Americans are more likely to be renters and tend to have less wealth than whites. There is a racial disparity in homeownership. There is a 26 percent gap between African-American homeownership and whites.
• Older adults are working past the traditional retirement age and are actively looking for employment.
• The current housing stock is not accessible to people with mobility issues.
• The federal government has not allocated any new funding to the Section 202 housing for the elderly since 2012.

As the population continues to age, we need to develop policies and programs that provide safe, affordable and accessible housing and supportive services for that population.

This report was written by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. It is an addendum to the State of the Nation’s Housing Report.

Click here to read the report.