Even with aging in place trends, an estimated 16 million senior households will be moving in the next decade, according to a housing report outlining the policy challenges associated with the aging population.
The number of 65-and-older households is projected to increase by 9.8 million in the next ten years, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2013 report.
“Most of these households will opt to age in place and may therefore need to modify their homes to accommodate their changing needs,” write the report’s authors. “But a large number will look for different housing opportunities, creating demand for new types of units in communities where they currently live as well as in the areas that traditionally attract retirees.”
Older households are known for not moving very often, but even if the relatively low mobility rate for seniors does not increase, the “sheer size” of the age group means the number of 65+ mover households is likely to increase from 1.2 million a year to 1.6 million annually in the next decade.
In addition to home modification, the report points to other areas where needs will have to be met, including expanding transportation networks and supportive services and making additions to the housing stock aimed specifically at the senior population.
“Many older Americans are also heading into their retirement years with little financial cushion and may find it difficult to find suitable housing that fits within their budgets,” says the report. “Expanding the range of housing options available to the country’s growing senior population will require concerted efforts from both the public and private sectors.”
Read the State of the Nation’s Housing 2013 report.
Written by Alyssa Gerace