Health Communities: Apdative Housing James Carroll, APA, APHA, IEDC Senior Community Health Planner
We can describe a communityís health capacity as its ability to adapt to changing conditions to sustain a high quality of life. Communities need to be able to understand obstacles and barriers that inhibit progress, and allows them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.
Housing is at the core of a healthy community. The way in which a community responds to the need for housing has lasting impacts for decades to come.
Over the last year or so, I have conducted a number of housing market studies in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. There are strong indicators the senior population will peak and begin to decline around 2025. This will vary depending on the market location, population density and several other factors.
States have heavily supported funding for senior housing over the last 20 years, communities have created land-use regulations to accommodate this type of housing, and developers have invested billions of dollars in developing the product and setting. Often this type of housing has restrictions on the use and populations who can live there. As the senior populations decline many communities may experience a rapid increase in surplus housing that could be unusable for other purposes.
Itís time to rethink the way we approach housing development in our communities. Leaders and stakeholders need to take a more adaptive approach to accommodate the need to repurpose housing products, while meeting the changing housing needs of our communities.