The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted a delegation in February for its Japanese counterpart, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, to view and assess different housing facilities designed to allow seniors to age in place.
The visit lasted for one week and featured stops in cities including New York, Hoboken, and Miami, and the delegation viewed different aging in place facilities, housing projects, and climate resilience and mitigation projects. Japan’s goal is to determine different solutions to house its own growing aging population.
The delegation stopped first at the Grand Street Guild, a housing project in Manhattan’s Lower East Side that consists of 600 HUD-subsidized apartments. They were walked through an apartment and the current renovation project, which will add public space for seniors to relax and enjoy outdoor amenities.
In Hoboken, the delegation visited Marian Towers, a HUD-subsidized apartment building for seniors. They then moved on to Miami, where they visited Rebecca Towers and Robert King High Towers, the latter of which is owned by Miami-Dade County’s Department of Public Housing and Community Development.
The visit also included new areas of focus for the delegation, as the two departments have revised the scope of their information-sharing partnership.
“The United States and Japan have expanded their research partnership to include additional topics, including climate mitigation and resilience,” HUD said. “The group visited Hoboken, New Jersey, to see the work Rebuild by Design has completed in the city. This project, launched by HUD in 2013, includes floodwalls, bulkheads, and seawalls to prevent flooding. We also toured a park that, in addition to offering open space for community residents to enjoy, also served to prevent flooding through bioretention basins.”
According to recent reports, Japan saw a 40% increase in the nation’s own reverse mortgage program, “Reverse 60,” through the end of 2021.
According to data from the Japanese government, the nation in 2018 had the highest population of elderly citizens of anywhere in the world. Rural and urban areas in Japan are experiencing an accelerated level of aging compared to other countries, which is likely caused by the nation’s sub-replacement fertility rates and generally high life expectancy.
The country has experienced ongoing population loss since at least 2011, andif current trends continue, Japan’s population is expected to drop as low as 97 million by 2050. According to its 2020 population census, Japan’s total population was 126.2 million in 2020.