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Aging Population Will Increase Affordable Housing Needs

an entryway with a photo on the wall

The growth explosion in North Carolina’s senior population will be in the spotlight next month when the Division of Aging and Adult Services holds listening sessions across the state in June to determine the most pressing needs of this demographic. As the Division notes, this demographic shift has big implications for housing markets—most homes were designed for younger adults and are not suitable for seniors who struggle with mobility and manual dexterity. Furthermore, most senior homeowners live in older homes that require maintenance, which they may be physically or financially unable to handle.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s home rehabilitation programs finance home repairs and modifications for low-income households with eligible special needs, including an elderly member. An impact assessment of the Urgent Repair Program found that in addition to improving housing quality and alleviating the financial burden of making repairs, every $1 invested in emergency home repairs could save up to $19 in state Medicaid/Medicare spending by allowing senior homeowners to remain in their homes longer rather than moving into institutional care settings.