Every May, the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® celebrates Older Americans Month. The theme this year is Age My Way. This month, and every month, older adults deserve to know the many ways they can remain in and be involved in their communities. Many seniors would prefer flexible living arrangements and opportunities to stay active in the communities they have spent years in.
In recognition of this, Mainstreet recently hosted an event for older adults where we shared a number of resources for them so that they can age their way.
In this blog, we’ll recap the different opportunities shared during the presentation so that those reading may take action. Let’s recap the great options available to seniors in the Chicagoland area.
Senior Home Sharing
Senior Home Sharing is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide seniors with an opportunity to live independently in a safe, affordable residential home. Each of their two residences includes private bedrooms for seniors and the support of a house manager who prepares three family-style meals every day, provides medication reminders as requested, grocery shops and provides housekeeping and laundry services for residents.
For 40 years, they have provided a solution to DuPage County’s shortage of affordable living options for seniors who may have physical impairments, limited income or that come from challenging life situations. They have assisted nearly 600 seniors in improving their quality of life and letting them stay in their community.
Pathlights guides adults 60 years of age and over, adults with disabilities, their caregivers, families, and friends along their best path to aging by providing resources, advocacy, programs, and services needed to live with independence and dignity in the community.
This nonprofit offers a vast range of services for South Suburban Chicagoland’s older adults. This includes caregiver support, in-home services, housing resources, and more. The organization has served 16,000 individuals, delivered 62,000 nutrition meals and provided 2,000 caregiver support hours to those in need.
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Next to present was the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Among the many things highlighted, one of them included the HUD Resource Locator— a web and mobile application that makes affordable housing easier to find. This is a fantastic resource that identifies affordable housing opportunities for older adults across the region.
“At HUD when we invest in housing, we invest in people and we try to meet their needs at every stage of their lives,” said Diane Shelley, Regional Administrator of HUD Operations.
North West Housing Partnership
North West Housing Partnership (NWHP) then spoke to our audience about several of its programs. The first was the Home Accessibility Program, funded by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to help homeowners address long overdue home accessibility issues that affect the health or safety of their families. Low-income homeowners may qualify for a grant of up to $25,000 in-home modification, performed by professional contractors. That grant is forgivable after five years. In addition, IHDA funds a home repair and roof repair only program.
The second program highlighted was the Handyman Program for those who are 60 years and older. This program supports seniors with the greatest economic and social needs, low-income minorities, and persons with limited English proficiency in receiving minor repairs to their homes. It represents the communities of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, and Rolling Meadows, Des Plaines, as well as all other towns in Palatine and Wheeling Townships, and Oak Park Township which includes Oak Park and River Forest.
Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH)
Last, but certainly not least, to present was Community Partners for Affordable Housing. CPAH owns and manages approximately 100 affordable apartments, condominium units, townhomes and single-family homes throughout the northern suburbs. For those interested, there are opportunities to rent in towns like Highland Park, Evanston and Lake Forest.
CPAH also offers an Owner Occupied Rehab program. For low-income homeowners in need of repairs or replacing elements of their home (such as roofs, furnaces, plumbing, etc.) due to health, safety and code-related issues, this organization will help. Eligible homeowners can receive up to $40,000 as a five-to-ten-year forgivable loan.
Age My Way: A Community Coming Together
Seniors often face issues with affordability, accessibility and services. Expanding aging-friendly housing options is the way forward. At Mainstreet, we’re appreciative of these great organizations who believe, like we do, that just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life.
Looking for a Mainstreet REALTOR® that specializes in working with seniors? Be sure and look for someone with the SRES Designation which stands for Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Find an SRES designee here.