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Headship and Homeownership: What Does the Future Hold? | Urban Institute

Posted June 30, 2015

MOWSF Blog | Senior Issues

A new report from the Urban Institute, titled “Headship and Homeownership: What Does the Future Hold?,” says that the growing senior population will demand better policies to help seniors live longer and more safely in their homes.

In addition, the aging of the population will also create the urgency to develop policies to allow the 20 million new seniors that we will have by 2030 to stay in their homes, as most want to do.

Source: Headship and Homeownership: What Does the Future Hold? | Urban Institute

Key findings included that the number of senior households will expand dramatically from 2010 to 2030, with more than half the growth happening in households over 65.

Senior housing issues, because of the sheer number of baby boomers, will continue to become more pressing. The study also points to a growing body of research that correlates a link between housing and health.

Not only do policies need to emphasize making houses safer, healthier and more efficient for seniors to live in, but they must go far beyond this and strengthen community support for seniors. Community support means changing zoning laws to allow for increasingly popular senior housing solutions such as house sharing but also making sure more seniors are able to afford owning their own homes.

“A drop in the proportion of senior homeowners will intensify the challenges of providing a safety net for an increasing share of the population,” the report stated. “Elderly adults that own their own home are much less likely to be cost burdened than those that don’t.”

As the trend toward renting versus owning homes continues across age demographics, and for Millennials in particular, competition for rentals will be steeper and costlier.This increased competition for rental housing has the potential to exacerbate housing issues, from affordability to availability, for seniors as well.