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Harvard Report Stresses the Need for More Accessibility Features in US Homes

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Harvard Report Stresses the Need for More Accessibility Features in US Homes

America's population is aging, and so too is its housing stock. To accommodate those with limited mobility, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies suggests adding accessibility features into existing homes

March 29, 2023
Person in wheelchair in house
Image: bernardbodo / Stock.adobe.com

Despite a $567 billion remodeling boom in 2022, U.S. homes are older now than at any time ever recorded, and an aging housing stock is unable to accommodate today’s homebuyers. Not only is the average home outdated in terms of energy efficiency and climate resiliency, but also in terms of accessibility.

As the share of older homebuyers and multi-generational households rises, accessibility remodels are becoming more common, and while they provide necessary safety features for current homeowners, costs for ADA retrofits remain high, Forbes reports.

“More homeowners are opting to research community programs that offer grants and forgivable loans to complete home accessibility projects,” Marshman shared. She recommends that homeowners consult with an accessibility professional to accurately assess their needs, advise on the best allocation for expenditures, and help coordinate their project. Some can also help in identifying resources.

JCHS notes how critical these resources are, especially for low income homeowners. “Given the scale of unmet home improvement and repair needs, expanding the reach of existing programs, increasing their funding, and spreading awareness is essential for making all housing safe and habitable,” its report stated.

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