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Housing Opportunity 2014 - Enabling Design for Health, Housing, and Happiness, Kathy Sykes


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Kathy Sykes, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Housing Opportunity 2014 - Enabling Design for Health, Housing, and Happiness, Kathy Sykes

  1. 1. Kathy Sykes Senior Advisor for Aging and Sustainability Office of Research and Development, U.S. EPA What We’ve Learned--EPA’s Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards Urban Land Institute – Housing Opportunity 2014 Conference Session: Enabling Design for Health, Housing, and Happiness May 16, 2014. Denver, CO
  2. 2. Aging in Community – What promotes a long and healthy life?
  3. 3. Systems Approach to Healthy Communities “If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
  4. 4. 4 U.S. Population Source of charts: U.S. Census Bureau, “65+ in the United States: 2005,” December 2005. 2000 2020 2040
  5. 5. Housing Problems for Older Adults 40% older persons (owners/renters) have housing problems – mostly cost burden -- greater than 30% of household Income Source: Older Americans 2012 5
  6. 6. 6 Smart Growth Can Foster Healthy Communities & Active Aging Provide environmental benefits – Less air pollution – Less water pollution – Less sprawl – Less traffic – More open spaces – Reduced GHGs Promote physical activity – More options to walk – More bike lanes – Better access to parks, trails, and recreational areas
  7. 7. 7 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards
  8. 8. 65 Supporting Agencies and Orgs. • 1000 Friends of Florida • AARP • Active for Life • Administration on Aging • Alliance for Aging Research • Alliance for Healthy Homes • America Walks • American Medical Association • Assoc. of Pedestrians & Bike Professionals • American Planning Association • American Public Health Association • American Society on Aging • Association of Jewish Services • Atlanta Regional Commission • B’nai B’rith International • Catholic Health Association of the US • Center for Civic Partnerships • Cleveland Foundation • Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups • Concrete Change • Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists • Easter Seals Project ACTION • Elder Care Advocacy of Florida • Encore Leadership Corps • Enterprise • Generations United • Gerontological Society of America • Grantmakers in Aging • Gray is Green • Gray Panthers • Greater Boston PSR • Healthy Aging Research Network • Institute for Geriatric Social Work • International City/County Management Association • International Council on Active Aging • Local Government Commission • Maine Community Foundation • Milton H. Erickson Foundation, Inc. • Mobility Education • National Asian Pacific Center on Aging • National Assoc of Regional Councils • National Association of Area Agencies on Aging • National Blueprint Initiative • National Caucus and Center on Black Aged • National Center on Senior Transportation • National Complete Streets Coalition • National Council on Aging • National Indian Council on Aging • National Recreation and Park Association • National Senior Citizen's Law Center • New York Academy of Medicine • Older Women’s League • Partners for Livable Communities • Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety • Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging • Portland State University Institute on Aging • Project for Public Spaces • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy • Science and Environmental Health Network • Senior Citizen Services Inc. • Society for Human Ecology • U. Maine Center on Aging • Walkable and Livable Communities • Weinberg Foundation • WellMed Charitable Foundation
  9. 9. 21 Winning Applications from Diverse Agencies
  10. 10. Lead Agency for Successful Award Applications Regional COG County City or Town Neighborhood Area Agencies on Aging City Manager/Mayor Health Housing Parks & Recreation Planning Dept Transportation 16
  11. 11. Atlanta's Lifelong Communities Initiative: ARC Facilitated zoning changes & 30 elder housing developments located near services, connected to existing neighborhoods. Decrease auto dependence. Voucher programs promote ride sharing.
  12. 12. Housing Authority Queen Anne’s County, MD 2007 Commitment Award Photo Courtesy of Candice Darling Housing Authority collaborated with Dept of Parks/Rec and Safe Harbor Church to create network of new walking trails connected to county trail system. Strong citizen involvement & agency partnerships helped to create an enriching environment for elders in Queen Anne's County.
  13. 13. Achievement Award 2011 Brazos COG, TX Community received knowledge, training & confidence to self-manage chronic diseases
  14. 14. Survey Results Outcome Measures • Levels of community involvement • Participant surveys, program attendance, and number of classes taught • number of organizations and agencies incorporating needs of elders into their strategic planning
  15. 15. Common Theme Given the high costs of long-term care, and physical, mental, & emotional stress the most important goal is keep people residing and participating in community for as long as possible – Worth trying anything to reach this goal
  16. 16. Most Important Change • Town of Scarborough, Maine, approved several senior housing projects. • County of San Mateo --created an environment where affordable housing developers and service providers could work together • Kirkland, WA -- ongoing commitment to provide opportunities for active aging.
  17. 17. BVCOG, TX -- more affordable, accessible quality “senior friendly” housing developments with curb cuts and good lighting; and well designed walking trails. Casper, WY -- made community pedestrian-friendly by adding new sidewalks, trails, and pathways throughout the community. Most Important Change
  18. 18. Most Important Change Satellite Beach, FL – Proactively addressing health care issues in older residents saves health care costs. Reduction in Emergency Medical Services
  19. 19. Bryan: Involvement of the Business Community Promoting walking trails in their storefronts, and luring residents to learn about downtown historic events and locations involves and helps local businesses. Concerned citizens brought urban farming to downtown Bryan by planting a community garden on a vacant lot.
  20. 20. BRAZOS: Community Partnerships By forming “Community Partnerships” and getting the whole community involved, many people are taking ownership & responsibility for implementing small pieces of the overall project. This approach benefits entire community.
  21. 21. Conclusions • The communities clearly demonstrated that strong leadership and multiple partnerships are vital for making lasting differences. • The policy implications of the changes these communities achieved are promising. -- changes help to support older residents, and beneficial to persons of all ages and abilities.
  22. 22. Take Away Message “ If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. “ African Proverb
  23. 23. 23 Guidebook: A Resource for Community Volunteers 23 Staying Active, Connected and Engaged --Mixed use--amenities, social connectivity Development and Housing --Affordable, choices, ADUs Transportation and Mobility --Choices, complete streets, walking clubs Staying Healthy --Community garden, Village Model
  24. 24. RESOURCES Join EPA’s Monthly newsletter EPA Website: Growing Smarter, Living Healthier: A Guide to Smart Growth and Active Aging Request copy of paper: Making the Right Moves
  25. 25. Award Booklets
  26. 26. Examples of Award Winners Town of Scarborough, Maine Kirkland, Washingtond, WA
  27. 27. Town of Scarborough, Maine Commitment Award Winner 2007 27 Created the Senior Center without Walls 5 miles of walking trails 3 miles of sidewalks Making it easy to incorporate work exercise into one’s daily activities
  28. 28. Achievement Award: Kirkland, WA The “Ped Flag” Program Picture Courtesy of Betsy Maxwell Kirkland offers over 50 physical activity programs designed specifically for older adults. The Kirkland Steppers Walk Program is free for adults 50+.