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Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report Highlights Housing Aspirations

Posted on September 06, 2016 | by Kathy Black
Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report Highlights Housing Aspirations

Age-Friendly Sarasota recently completed an assessment of nearly 1,200 Sarasota County residents’ aspirations regarding community features across eight domains of livability. It comes as no surprise that housing aspirations included everything from aging in place to access to affordable housing.

Findings were analyzed by age groups including Boomers (age 50-69 at the time of the study) and non-Boomer Elders (age 70+). This post is part of a series reviewing key highlights from each of the domains. Additional information about the Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report and more details about the findings can be found on the Age-Friendly Sarasota website.

For many of us, aging in place is desirable, yet our current homes may be unable to meet our needs as we age.

The availability of appropriate, affordable housing with a choice of styles and locations that incorporate adaptive or universal design features will be essential for many of us to continue living independently in our community.

Many of us may also want to consider alternative living options such as shared and communal housing that are emerging throughout the country but are not yet widely available in our community.

Sarasota County residents report that well-maintained homes and properties, trustworthy, affordable contractors and universal design options are the most important housing features.

     

  • Compared to non-Boomer Elders, Boomers report a greater importance on affordable housing (80 % vs. 60%), alternative housing options (73% vs. 54%), safe low income housing (69% vs. 51%), co-housing (52% vs. 34%), and universal design options (84% vs. 68%).
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There is variability regarding the presence of housing features according to residents. Only about one to three out of ten of all residents indicate the existence of affordable and alternative housing.

     

  • Compared to Boomers, non-Boomer Elders report a greater existence across all housing features, however, the majority of residents report the absence of most housing features (due to either lack of awareness or uncertainty), including homes with universal design, affordable and alternative housing (56% - 89%).
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Sarasota County residents report multiple supports and barriers to aging in place.

     

  • Though residents recognize the importance of planning for universal-design features that enable aging in place, they note many impediments to enacting provisions to age in place, including lack of knowledge, denial, and procrastination, costs, seemingly continuous needs to retrofit and incomplete design of broader common areas.
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  • Residents note housing considerations that support aging in place such as affordability, location to amenities, broader community planning efforts, the role of builders, and alternative living options, such as shared and co-housing.
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