Remodeling key to addressing mismatch between aging population and inaccessible housing

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

The average aging baby boomer plans to “age in place” which will create new levels of demand for remodeling of the currently inaccessible homes they live in, confirms a recent report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. 

The Center estimates that 44 percent of American seniors over the age of 65 “have some need for home accessibility features due to disability or difficulty using components of the home, such as kitchen or bathroom facilities, without assistance. And yet the current housing stock is not especially equipped to meet the accessibility needs of an aging nation, as not even a third of homes have what could be considered basic accessibility features, such as a no-step entry and bedroom and full bathroom on the entry level.”

As Vermont’s own baby boomers turn 65 and live longer than their predecessors, the number of senior households in the state will expand by 10,000, according to projections from a recent assessment of Vermont’s housing needs.  The vast majority of these households own homes they plan to remain in as they age.