Less than four percent of the U.S. housing stock built for individuals with mobility difficulties. Difficult-to-navigate homes can lead to or worsen health problems in older adults due to factors such as increased isolation and premature moves into assisted living or nursing facilities.
Improving the health and independence of older adults requires the design and creation of inclusive physical environments that allow people to age in their homes and communities.
Enterprise's Aging-in-Place toolkit supports affordable housing owners and developers who seek to assess and respond to the needs of their aging residents through the built environment. These tools include:
- Aging-in-Place Design Guidelines - Shares best practices for property owners and developers building or renovating properties that provide the flexibility older residents need to age in their current homes and remain part of their community. The guidelines highlight recommended approaches for site selection, general building design, unit layout, room-by-room considerations, and innovative technology.
- Aging-in-Place Recommendations - Provides guidance to developers who want to incorporate the 2015 Green Communities Criteria into their housing developments as well as address the needs of aging residents.
- Aging-in-Place Existing Conditions Checklist - An audit tool that helps property owners evaluate existing sites and buildings for design strategies that would allow residents to successfully age in their homes.
- Aging-in-Place Strategy Prioritization Matrix - An engagement exercise and tool that shows developers how to organize aging-in-place strategies in order of importance. The matrix can be used during a charrette or as a stand-alone exercise.
With these tools, Enterprise facilitated Aging-in-Place charrettes across the country to familiarize developers, designers, residents, and community leaders with these design tools and strategies for creating age-friendly homes that support the health and well-being of older adults and enable them to age in their homes and communities.
Enterprise’s commitment to supporting the ability for older adults to remain in their homes and community extends beyond building design.
Enterprise teams in Boston, Chicago, and New York have convened community partners — including senior housing and service providers — to develop strategies to address the health and housing needs of older adults, to connect partners, create and advocate for policy change, and launch demonstration projects.
And, in a guide tailored for affordable housing providers and property managers in New York, Addressing the Needs of Aging Tenants in Your Building, Enterprise’s New York Office brought together best practices for housing senior tenants.
Enterprise has invested $2.4 billion in 649 properties, creating more than 47,200 affordable homes for older adults, including the following projects.
- Lutheran Social Services Legacy Living: In Williston, North Dakota, a former junior high school is being transformed into 28 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom apartments.
- Ernestine Anderson Place: Green, affordable housing with supportive services for formerly homeless seniors and seniors with low incomes located in Seattle, Washington.
- Enterprise Homes/The Greens at Irvington Mews: A 2013 AHF Readers’ Choice Finalist, 100 apartments for seniors and adults with disabilities located in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Serviam Gardens: Located in the Bronx borough of New York City are 296 Enterprise Green Communities certified, affordable apartments.
- Antioch Villas and Gardens: 40 villa-style and 66 garden apartments for low- and moderate-income seniors age 55 and above located in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Additionally, in partnership with MetLife, Enterprise recognizes 501(c)(3) community-based or regional nonprofit organizations and Tribes or Tribally Designated Housing Entities that show exemplary leadership, innovation and effectiveness in green, health and service-enriched housing for seniors through the MetLife Foundation Awards for Excellence in Affordable Housing.