Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning and Development (CPD)

Department

Community Planning and Development

First Advisor

Mark Lapping

Keywords

housing stock, Maine, safety, Muskie School of Public Service

Abstract

With its median age of 42.7 years, Maine is the oldest state in the nation and it is getting older. The population 65 and older is growing at a rapid pace and this expansion presents many challenges to communities, particularly in the area of housing. Most seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as possible and adequate, accessible, safe, and affordable housing is a primary factor for successful aging in place. Low income seniors face additional difficulties when aging in place. This paper looks at the availability of home repair/modification and energy efficiency programs for Maine’s low income seniors and whether or not those programs reach enough seniors in need. After consideration of information drawn from literature, demographic data, online materials, interviews and email communications, it is evident that these programs are essential for Maine seniors. This paper highlights a few key initiatives already in place. Higher rates of senior poverty and the third oldest housing stock in the country challenge Maine’s low income senior homeowners and renters who want to safely and affordably age in place. Finally, this paper examines the numerous barriers to reaching seniors in need and what is needed to overcome these problems.

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