Monday, November 18, 2013

"Ageless" housing?

My colleague, Mark Bauer, sent me a link to an article that referenced the aging in place movement-something we've covered previously.  This article by Amy Hoak, published in Market Watch, made mention of the shifting interest from age-specific communities to "ageless" communities.  Professor Bauer had written an article, published in the Illinois Elder Law Journal on "Peter Pan” as Public Policy: Should Fifty-Five-Plus Age-Restricted Communities Continue to be Exempt From Civil Rights Laws and Substantive Federal Regulation? and we have had extensive discussions about housing for elders, zoning and aging in place.

Ms. Hoak's article was describing a panel discussion at the Urban Land Institute's meeting in Chicago. The Urban Land Institute (or ULI) "provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI is an independent global nonprofit supported by members representing the entire spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines."

Ms. Hoak reports on a panel discussion about the "trend" of building communities that are for all ages. Sometimes referred to as "ageless communities", the panelists referenced this trend this way: "inter-generationalism".  An example of this trend, according to the article, is Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County, California and Merrill Gardens in Seattle, where an ILF and ALF have common amenities and courtyard with the adjoining "ageless" apartments.  The article quotes John McIllwain, a ULI senior resident fellow who considers himself living in a multigenerational community, a/k/a Brooklyn.  The article gives a thorough discussion of the reasons behind this "trend" in housing.  The ULI website has articles and research where you can learn more about the projects referenced in the article and others, for example, including an article by John McIllwain on boomer preferences in housing, a pdf of which can be accessed here.

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