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Housing Crisis Looms for Older Americans

By Mike Wheatley | April 10, 2012

The percentage of Americans over the age of 65 is set to double by the year 2050, according to data from the US Census. By that time, it’s expected that almost one in five Americans will be in that age group, something that a new report claims could lead to a housing crisis, as many will struggle to be able to find suitable accommodation.

Senior housing crisis

America faces a potential housing crisis as its senior population grows. Image by paulerogers

The Center for Housing Policy report, titled “Housing an Aging Population — Are We Prepared?”, warns that the country is going to be faced with a huge burden as its senior population soars, claims a story first published by RISMedia.

A number of interesting statistics were revealed by the report. It found that older Americans are much more likely to spend 50% of their income on their housing than younger people. While homeowners aged 65 and above are more likely to have paid off their mortgages, the older generation is set to struggle anyway due to its lower income. Housing-related costs such as property taxed, utilities and home maintenance will continue to take a huge chunk out of their incomes, something that will even burden homeowners who are free of their mortgages.

Rodney Harrell, a policy adviser at AARP’s Public Policy Institute, warned that a huge potential crisis is looming for the nation:

“As the older population grows, meeting the housing needs of older adults is certain to become a significant challenge across the nation. States and communities need to effectively respond by adopting policies that ensure adequate, affordable housing for people of all ages.”

The Center for Housing Policy has called for variety of new homes to meet the specialized care needs of senior citizens, such as more assisted-care residences, more congregate housing and more continuing care retirement. The report also recommends providing loans and/or grants to assist senior homeowners in modifying their homes, so that they can continue to live where they are. In addition, the authors of the report have asked for housing voucher programs or the abatement of property tax to relive housing-related costs.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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