Report cautions housing crisis looms from nation’s older households


REALTOR Magazine

More households are increasingly being headed by older adults—50 or older–and that requires different types of housing to meet this aging group’s needs and preferences, according to “Housing America’s Older Adults 2018,” a new report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. The report found that more than half of the nation’s households—some 65 million–are now headed by someone at least 50 years of age.

The report warns that many households in their 50s and early 60s may not be financially prepared for retirement—much fewer than previous generations were at the same age. Nearly a third of households age 65 or older pay at least 30 percent of their income for housing, while more than half pay more than 50 percent. Most financial experts consider more than 30 percent of income toward housing to be “cost burdened.”

“We need to address gaps in the affordability and accessibility of our housing stock, both of which are essential to older adults’ independence and well-being,” says Jennifer Molinsky, the lead author of the report. “As the number of households in their 80s grows, it will be essential that we strengthen the links between housing, healthcare, and other services.”


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November 2018