Building Housing for the Elderly and the Disabled
According to the American Seniors Housing Association, about 5 to 8% of baby boomers will eventually choose a senior-only housing arrangement over living alone or with family. Considering that there are currently 76 million baby boomers in the U.S., that leaves about 6 million people to find a suitable senior-specific living arrangement. Baby boomers aside, there are also more than 7 million households that have a family member with a disability.
Whereas the demand and need for multifamily housing that is affordable and accessible is staggering, the availability is lacking. Building housing that allows for independence, mobility and, when possible, a sense of community, is challenging and requires thorough planning.
In 1991, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines that establish the minimum standards for Fair Housing Act compliance. Here are just some examples of the considerations that we keep in mind when designing and building a housing unit for the elderly and/or disabled:
- Doors and hallways that are wide enough for wheelchair access
- Accessible, single-floor routes into and around the grounds of the housing complex
- Easy access to switches, outlets and thermostats
- Windows that can be easily opened
- Grab bars in the bathroom and/or bathtub, as well as wheel-in showers
- Kitchens and bathrooms wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs
- Lowered counters, sinks, stoves and appliances
The state of Georgia has its own stringent accessibility code that we must observe when tackling new projects, such as the Hunt School Village housing for the elderly.
At Stafford Builders, we are well versed in what it takes to build housing that not only checks off all the legal requirements but adds value to the community and its people. Additionally, we build housing within the EarthCraft Multifamily certification program, which addresses sustainability and environmentally sound building practices.
Take a look at our latest community projects.