Housing priority group
Goal: Seniors will have a variety of housing options sufficient to meet their individual needs.
As we age, our housing needs change: accessibility and affordability become major issues. As with all housing consumers, seniors want choices. Some would like to stay in their own homes as long as possible, and in the communities where they have social ties. Others look forward to exploring new communities or forging communities with friends. Unfortunately, problems with affordability, accessible home design, and supportive services often make this difficult.
A lack of resources can mean a premature move to assisted living or a long-term care facility.
The Housing Priority group is working to make our communities more livable, with more varied housing to meet the needs of seniors of different income levels: home sharing options, a range of smaller homes, and
The first Self-Directed Volunteer Team launched by the Housing Priority group examined best practices in Senior Housing options for all income levels. Link here to that report.
In May of 2016, in collaboration with the CSU Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) we held a Charrette to examine how to increase Age-Friendly design in Larimer County. About 40 architects, builders, developers, planners and consumers attended.
One Idea to come from that charrette was to develop an Age-Friendly certification for new and renovated housing. We proposed that idea to the Colorado Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging (SAPGA). They have proposed to the State Legislature that PAFC pilot a certification program in Larimer County and eventually take that to the state. We are continuing to work with the Institute for the Built Environment on that project.
age-friendly design in homes, for example. Such options keep neighborhoods stable and maintain the community tax base.
Most of all, increased public awareness and discussion of the issues are crucial if the housing needs of the growing senior population are to be met in the coming decades.
In 2014 the Housing Priority Group contracted with the Highland Group to do a study on the Needs and Opportunities for housing and care in Larimer County for the next 25 years. That report breaks the county into 5 areas: Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park, rural mountains and rural plains. It also examines Larimer County as a whole. That report can be viewed here.
That first Self-Directed Volunteer Team seeded another one to explore options for a Shared Housing Matching Service. The report on that study is available here. That program has progressed and is now a partnership between the PAFC and Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N). Together we hope to launch a pilot by early 2018. Eventually the program will be housed completely with Neighbor to Neighbor, but the SDVT will continue to support N2N in the early stages.