Former HUD Chief Touts Reverse Mortgage Benefits

With the first of the 78 million baby boomers turning age 65 in 2011, the nation will have to address the housing demand this demographic will require in the coming years, especially as many of them will want to “age in place.”

Staying in one’s homes reflects not only a financially sensible housing option, but also helps give meaning to one’s life, according to former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Henry Cisneros in an op-ed for The Miami Herald.

While many will want to stay at home in their old age, the designs of current homes do not make this option available to everyone, says Cisneros, who is now a co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission.

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For some seniors, reverse mortgages can be important tools to finance home modifications that will allow greater independence, writes Cisneros.

He then suggests that the Federal Housing Administration and others should work to ensure that consumers receive effective guidance regarding the finer details, or “mechanics,” of such financial products.

“As a nation, we need to think more creatively and strategically about how our homes can accommodate the desire to age in place and become cost-effective platforms to improve health and longevity for an aging population,” writes Cisneros in the article.

Read The Miami Herald op-ed.

Written by Jason Oliva

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