Product No.: MIT012
Date Published: 01/2007
If you would like to request a printed copy (or copies) of this product, please call DVRPC at 215-592-1800 or email the staff contact listed below. If you would like to request this publication or portion of this publication in another language or format, please fill out a request form.The number of elderly residents has increased dramatically throughout the nation and the region in recent years, and is expected to continue to increase at a record pace. The majority of these new and future retirees will expect to age in place, staying in the home or at least the community where they've spent most of their lives. Most suburban development patterns, however, cannot accommodate the mobility and service needs of seniors. Seniors living in the region's suburbs face numerous challenges, including limited accessibility within both their home and the community; difficulties in keeping up with home repair and maintenance; limited mobility as they lose their ability to drive; difficulty in accessing necessary services; and economics. This brochure presents recommendations aimed at enabling municipal officials to prepare for the coming senior boom by modifying local planning tools currently used to accomplish other land use goals. Flexible zoning codes that include provisions for shared housing, accessory dwellings units, and elder cottages, for example, can encourage the development of affordable, accessible housing options for seniors. Incorporating the principles of transit-oriented and New Urbanist development into local ordinances and codes can encourage the development of denser, mixed-use communities and thereby improve accessibility to necessary services. Universal design provisions could be included in building codes to make homes accessible and attractive for all ages and eliminate the cost of retrofitting units later. Communities can weigh the benefits of allowing age-restricted, "active adult" communities in appropriate locations. While the long-term impacts of these communities have not yet been determined, they may be an attractive solution for some seniors looking for housing options. Municipal officials can also support the development of elder-friendly communities, by expanding and improving transit options and creating safer, pedestrian-friendly environments.
Geographic Area Covered: Nine county Delaware Valley region, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties in New Jersey
Key Words: aging, aging in place, elderly, baby boomers, near-elderly, shared housing, accessory dwelling units, elder cottages, universal design, age-restricted housing, transit-oriented development, New Urbanism
- Karin A. Morris, AICP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Title VI Statement
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, and related nondiscrimination mandates in all programs and activities. DVRPC's website, www.dvrpc.org, may be translated into multiple languages. Publications and other public documents can usually be made available in alternative languages and formats, if requested. DVRPC’s public meetings are always held in ADA-accessible facilities, and held in transit-accessible locations whenever possible. Translation, interpretation, or other auxiliary services can be provided to individuals who submit a request at least seven days prior to a public meeting. Translation and interpretation services for DVRPC’s projects, products, and planning processes are available, generally free of charge, by calling (215) 592-1800. All requests will be accommodated to the greatest extent possible.
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