Launching Aging in Place
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF HORRY COUNTY GAINS ‘AGING IN PLACE’ CERTIFICATION
As an extension to Habitat for Humanity of Horry County’s Maintenance and Repair Program, Habitat has become AIP certified. This program partners with homeowners 65 years and older to help with handicap accessibility modifications (ramps, grab bars and handrails), fall-risk repairs, door replacement, and exterior or interior damage.
As stated on Habitat for Humanity International’s website, “older Americans are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country”. In fact, it is expected that “by 2030, 20% of the US population will be 65+. Yet, more than 19 million older adults are living in homes that are in disrepair, or ill-equipped to safely meet their needs.”
This information was a catalyst for Habitat for Humanity to create the “Aging in Place” program. The Aging in Place program serves low to moderate income seniors with the critical home repairs and modifications that allow them to age safely in their home. This keeps older residents connected in their community of choice, preserves the naturally occurring affordable housing stock in a community, and connects the assets of a community to support the wellness of its members.
In Habitat for Humanity of Horry County’s Neighborhood Revitalization work, it was recently discovered that residents were concerned about the well-being of their elderly neighbors who they remember had looked out for them as children through service, activism, and leadership just a few decades ago. After completing a few critical home repair projects for senior residents, it became clear that there was a need here for a more holistic approach to repair work for seniors. Therefore, Habitat for Humanity of Horry County became a certified Aging in Place Affiliate.
“Since we launched our maintenance and repair program 12 months ago, we have seen a disproportionately higher demand by seniors in our community looking for affordable options to age in place,” states Executive Director, Jason Greene. “Taking this next step, becoming AIP certificated, demonstrates our commitment to helping seniors in our community. This allows us to take a holistic approach to helping these homeowners age safely in their homes.”
With Aging in Place, Habitat for Humanity of Horry County will collaborate with health and human services to evaluate individual needs and provide critical home repairs, modifications and community services specific to each homeowner’s lifestyle to preserve their home and their independence.
Habitat for Humanity believes that “safe and accessible housing is a key social determinant of health. As leaders in housing, with Habitat’s vast network across the United States and evidence-based approach, Habitat’s Aging in Place program advances both housing and health equity for older Americans.”