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Creating ‘Livable Communities’ For All Age Groups In Atlanta And Nationwide

AARP defines a "livable community" as a place that is "safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services."
AARP defines a "livable community" as a place that is "safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services."
Credit AARP
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By 2030, one-in-five people in the United States will be 65-years-old or older, according to figures from the AARP.

That same year, more than one-million people living in metro Atlanta will be over the age of sixty, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

As the aging population increases, in Atlanta and nationwide, what resources are needed to help people remain in their communities or ‘age in place’?

“Closer Look with Rose Scott” recently dedicated two days of programming to conversations about how to create local communities more livable — for people of all ages — whether its through more affordable housing opportunities, increased transit options or better access to green space.

From nationwide experts to local housing advocate to nonprofit leaders to government officials, we discussed resources and solutions to helping more people enjoy working and living in their own communities.

Finally, we dedicate this special-edition of the program to local senior advocate Dorothy “Dot” Benson, who joined “Closer Look” for a conversation about her work in 2017. She passed away last year at the age of 97-years old.

Day One: AARP, Local Housing Experts Discuss Creating ‘Livable Communities’ For The Aging Population

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AARP defines a “livable community” as a place that is “safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services.” (AARP)

What can be done to make more communities “livable” for aging residents? Jana Lynott, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor with AARP Public Policy Institute’s Livable Communities team discusses what it will take to address affordable housing and other issues for the aging community on a nationwide scale.

Jana Lynott, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor with AARP Public Policy Institute’s Livable Communities team, joins “Closer Look” from Washington D.C. to discuss what it will take to address affordable housing and other issues for the aging community on a nationwide scale. (Photo credit: AARP)

We continue this special-edition of the program with a round table of local housing experts including Will Johnston, Executive Director of the MicroLife Institute, Katie Perumbeti, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Lifelong Communities Coordinator/Aging & Independence Services and Beth Hogan, a local home-sharing expert. They join us in studio for a conversation about the resources available for Atlanta’s aging population, and the work that still needs to be done to create livable communities in the metro area.

“Closer Look’s” special-edition program dedicated to creating “livable communities” for the aging continues with local housing experts Will Johnston, Executive Director of the MicroLife Institute, Katie Perumbeti, Atlanta Regional Commission -Lifelong Communities Coordinator/Aging & Independence Services and Beth Hogan, a local home-sharing expert. (Photo credit: Grace Walker)

Day Two: From Home Repairs to Affordable Housing, Resources for Changing Communities 

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Denise Starling, Executive Director of Livable Buckhead joins “Closer Look” in studio to discuss the data from Livable Buckhead’s latest Housing and Commuting Study. (Photo credit: Grace Walker)

Only eight percent of adults who live in Buckhead, also work in the area, according to data from Livable Buckhead’s latest Housing and Commuting Study. As a solution, the study proposes increasing housing opportunities to alleviate this traffic congestion.

Denise Starling, Executive Director of Livable Buckhead joins “Closer Look” in studio to discuss the link between affordable housing and traffic, and how to go about creating more moderately-priced housing options.

We continue our look at ways to make communities “livable” for all. A conversation with Lisa Jones, Executive Director of HouseProud, and Allen Mitchell, DeKalb County Director of Community Development. (Photo credit: Grace Walker)

We conclude our conversations about ways to make communities “livable” for all with Lisa Jones, Executive Director of HouseProud, a nonprofit that aims to help seniors, veterans and those with disabilities with needed home repairs. Also joining the discussion is Allen Mitchell, DeKalb County Director of Community Development who shares information about a Special Purpose Home Repair Program for senior and disabled Dekalb County homeowners.

Additional Resources:

  • Empowerline, a phone and online resource offered through the Atlanta Area Agency on Aging.
  • AARP’s Livability Index scores communities around the nation as it relates to amenities such as housing, transit and the environment. 

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler and Grace Walker. Joy Barge is a contributing producer.