Livable Communities – Housing

Older adults generally want to age in place, in familiar home and neighborhood environments. Accordingly, a broad range of accessible, affordable and creative housing options is a critical component of a livable community.

  • To remain accessible, homes may need to be inspected for safety hazards (e.g., poor lighting, inappropriately placed carpets and other floor items) and may need to be physically modified (e.g., zero-step entry, wider doorways, and bathroom aids) to accommodate emerging impairments.
  • Communities need to invest in growing their stock of affordable housing. Age-diverse communities and development, rather than age-segregated solutions, are necessary to enhance quality of life for all, from Millennials to older adults to the professionals needed to support older people.
  • Co-housing arrangements, including shared housing and accessory dwelling units, can enhance Connecticut’s plentiful single-family housing stock to promote aging in place and increase housing affordability.

Recommendations for communities

____ Educate residents on what sorts of home remodeling or modifications may be necessary to successfully support aging in place.

____ Through regional cooperation, compile a listing of vetted home repair and home modification contractors and programs to help older adults and persons with disabilities adapt their homes to meet their changing needs.

____ Adopt policies that encourage incorporation of accessible housing features into new construction, so that new housing can support its residents throughout the lifespan.

____ Ensure that adequate smaller, energy-efficient, affordable housing—in walkable, transit-served, mixed use neighborhoods—exists in every community for all residents, including older adults and persons with disabilities who want or need to change their housing to accommodate their evolving needs.

____ Collaborate with affordable and low-income housing developers to generate these additional housing options so that residents may remain in their community.

____ Consider tax code or tax payment system changes to accommodate those living on fixed incomes, who may struggle to pay rising rents or property taxes.

____ Modify zoning codes and plans of conservation and development to support co-housing arrangements, including shared housing and accessory dwelling units.