Friday, May 1, 2015

AARP Livability Index helps people 50+ determine if neighborhoods are meeting their needs

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

NHC Leadership Circle member AARP Public Policy Institute recently launched the Livability Index, a resource that allows people to determine how well their communities are meeting current and future needs of residents. The index identifies the most livable places around the country for people 50 and older.

The index was created with residents’ needs in mind. Using findings from a national survey of 4,500 50-plus Americans, AARP determines neighborhood livability using several factors, including affordable housing, supportive services, access to public transportation and walkability, all of which create an environment in which residents can live an engaging and independent life.

“Whether you’re a city planner or a person who wants to improve your life, it’s important to know what you have, what you’ll need and then plan accordingly,” Dr. Debra Whitman, chief public policy officer at AARP said in a press release. “Every community has areas where it can improve and the Livability Index provides the tools and resources to help people meet their needs and wants.” 

Independence is often an important factor older adults use to decide where they want to live. Noted in our newest report, The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary, affordable and accessible housing linked to supportive services enables older adults to remain in their homes longer. Access to affordable housing couple with the ability to determine if a neighborhood is a good long-term fit ensures older adults the opportunity to age in place.

Users can incorporate their own preferences by changing how different community components are scored. You can access the Livability Index here

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