In a series of video interviews with AARP, former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cicneros stresses the need for housing to accommodate the pending wave of 70 million baby boomers who are entering their retirement years. Based on research his company, CityView, has conducted, he stressed the need for resources that will allow the vast majority of Americans to age in place.
“Most Americans are going to age in the place where they are,” Cisneros tells AARP. “A very small percentage will go to a nursing home before the very end of their life. Most are going to have to be in the home that they own, or a rental unit of some kind. They are going to age in society, not in assisted living.”
The country needs to prepare for this, he says, by providing housing options that will accommodate this growing need. This preparation covers four basic areas, he says: retrofitting existing homes, keeping the needs of older Americans in mind for new construction, dealing with the reality that entire communities are changing and creating community services.
“Preparing for aging in place is assuring the basic housing stock in our country is adequate for a country that is increasingly growing older,” he says.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker