In recognition of April being National Fair Housing Month, Illinois REALTORS® recently conducted a series of interviews on the different ways housing law affects landlords and tenants.
In the first video of our Fair Housing series, REALTORS® Mike Rickert and Annette Akey Panzek talk about the types of modifications property owners can make to better accommodate seniors and disabled tenants. Additionally, Garland and Heather Armstrong, a married couple living in Chicago, tell of their experiences in what considerations property owners and REALTORS® should keep in mind.
Further installments in the video series will include a closer look on how landlords can meet obligations under the Fair Housing Act, as well as a look at what are known as “hidden disabilities” and the types of accommodations necessary for people with such conditions.
Click here to view the first video, and be sure to check back for future installments.
Preparations made during the next 20 years could be critical to the ability of older Americans to live independently in the year 2035 and beyond, when a fifth of the American population will be age 65 or older, says Jennifer Molinsky, a senior research associate for Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS).
The challenges she cites in her blog post “Four Challenges to Aging in Place” are:
- Accessible housing for 17 million “older” households with at least one resident with accessibility issues;
- Long-term care for 12 million “older” households who’ll need daily assistance with personal care;
- Affordable housing for 17.1 million “older” households who’ll spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing (including 8.5 million who’ll spend more than 50 percent); and
- Reducing isolation so members of older households connect with neighbors and get food, medical care, transportation and other services. Older citizens still need access to friends and family, too.
For more details, including a JCHS report “Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Older Population,” read Molinsky’s blog post, “Four Challenges to Aging in Place.”
Proximity to family and medical care, downsizing and preferences for certain housing attributes are key to seniors as they age, according to a survey of Illinoisans age 55 and older, but their priorities may depend on where they live.
Many of the facts revealed by April survey commissioned by the Illinois REALTORS® Senior Working Group are available in a new infographic available to association members. Download it here.
For example, in rural areas, more seniors (62 percent) rated proximity to family as a greater concern than in Chicago (50 percent). However, 60 percent of Chicago seniors prioritized easy access to health care clinics compared to only 48 percent of seniors in northern rural areas of the state, 54 percent in southern rural areas and 57 percent in Cook County suburbs.
In other areas of the survey:
- 81 percent of seniors own their homes;
- 33 percent of seniors expected to downsize;
- 69 percent placed the highest priority on a main floor bathroom;
- 47 percent placed highest priority on single-floor living; and
- 46 percent rated highest priority for attached or underground parking.
In late August, the Illinois REALTORS® Senior Working Group released its first batch of information from the Illinois REALTORS® Senior Market Survey. An infographic about seniors’ concerns over property taxes was released then, too.
Senior woman walking in park (Bigstock).
The longer life expectancy of Americans and the tendency for women to outlive their male spouses and partners are at least two reasons the housing needs of older, single women should be noted in the coming years says the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
In “As Baby Boomers Age, Older Single Women Will Face the Greatest Housing Challenges,” the author says women who rent rather than own their homes are at the greatest risk. Having the financial means to make home modifications and secure assistance with daily activities and care becomes more difficult for those with fixed incomes.
Illinois REALTORS who want a better understanding of the issue and see related charts and graphs can read the blog post.
Illinois reportedly has the highest property taxes in the nation, and the state’s seniors are understandably worried about the squeeze that puts on their ability to maintain a good quality of quality of life, a poll commissioned by Illinois REALTORS® found.
Illinois REALTORS created a infographic that has the highlights of the survey. Download it here.
Sixty-six percent of seniors surveyed in April said paying property taxes was a top concern. The survey of 600 people age 55 and older was commissioned by Illinois REALTORS® Senior Housing Working Group. It found that worries over property taxes outpaced concerns over saving for retirement and paying for groceries and food.
The survey was among a package of materials that the Working Group generated. A brochure was produced giving an overview of what resources were available for municipalities looking to make their communities senior-friendly, and a toolkit was created which give practical examples of policy initiatives nationwide which help improve the quality of life for seniors. You can find all the resources here.