Synergistic assets on aging in place - Habitat for Humanity
I really enjoyed the keynote speech at the Habitat for Humanity Learning Exchange on Aging in Place in Gainesville, Florida, earlier this week. As it turns out, Habitat’s work is well-aligned with housing/aging in place -- one of the eight "domains of livability" in age-friendly communities.
As many of you know, Habitat for Humanity is in more than 90 countries with over 1,400 affiliates nationwide – 58 affiliates in the state of Florida alone. Habitat’s world vision is that everyone in the world deserves to have a home, and as a Christian-based ecumenical organization, its mission statement reads: Seeking to put God’s love into action Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat follows this mission by bringing volunteers together to build homes and communities.
About three years ago, their international arm created a paradigm shift in the mission by including Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) – which now includes doing home rehabs, critical home repairs, weatherization, and painting through A Brush with Kindness program. Through this shift, they had many more willing volunteers and many more people in need than they could help.
Including Neighborhood Revitalization now allows Habitat for Humanity to better utilize volunteers and serve many more people in need of safe, affordable shelter. It is a holistic approach to community development – in that it looks at the community as a whole. It looks at what the community needs to become a safe, vibrant and enriched place. The Neighborhood Revitalization model involves choosing a focused neighborhood and effecting change through the community in many different ways in partnership with the residents and community stakeholders.
Under the umbrella of Neighborhood Revitalization, Habitat for Humanity International is now training its national counterparts on Aging in Place. As we all age – it makes a great deal of sense to prepare as you build these homes for aging.
Welcome Habitat to being part of the solution to meet the needs of aging America and helping communities become age-friendlier in all that they do.