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Housing Our Elders

Release Date: 
November 1999 (60 pages)
Posted Date:   
November 1, 1999

This report, which updates a recent HUD report to Congress, uses the best available data—including the first analysis of a special supplement to the 1995 American Housing Survey (AHS) on home accessibility needs and modifications—HUD has developed a baseline of information on elderly housing conditions, needs, and strategies. Its dual message is clear:

Overall, older Americans are among the best housed citizens of a well-housed Nation. The majority of elderly households lead vigorous lives in quality housing that is within their means and located in neighborhoods that they like. When housing problems arise, most elders today have the financial resources to address them.

However, millions of elderly households continue to live in housing that costs too much, is in substandard condition, or fails to accommodate their physical capabilities or assistance needs. For many, the day-to-day economics and month-by-month housing situations of their working years have left their declining years insecure. Many more face the prospect of their hard-won housing security slipping away at some point in their lives, a casualty of declining health, dwindling wealth, a deteriorating home, or the death of a helpmate.

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Note: Guidance documents, except when based on statutory or regulatory authority or law, do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. Guidance documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.