Housing for Older People

An image of an older Black couple standing next to each other and smiling. The man is wearing a green plaid shirt and cap, and the woman is wearing a green striped dress and sleeveless jean vest. They are standing in front of a clothing line. Centre for Aging Better/Unsplash

Housing is an important, sometimes overlooked, need for older people of all genders. While it is usually discussed in economic terms, housing can also profoundly affect our physical, social, and mental health, especially as we age. This article provides an overview of why housing is so critical to aging elders, and why ameliorating lifelong racial discrimination is a core part of this process. Housing inequities and discrimination disproportionately harm older women, disabled, poor, and BIPOC people, and of course many of us fall into several of those categories. Yet we all need access to affordable, safe, and quality housing in order to maintain good health and a good quality of life as we age.

“Housing policies and practices have systematically limited access to homeownership for persons of color and segregated many into disadvantaged neighborhoods. For many, this has curtailed economic and wealth building opportunities over the life course and exposed them to negative health consequences of segregated neighborhoods. Encouraging and supporting equitable access to safe and quality housing options for older adults should be a role for all aging services stakeholders.”