WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new collaboration between the American Planning Association (APA) and AARP was announced today during a special lunch at APA's Policy and Advocacy Conference. Through joint-research, the organizations seek to address multi-generational housing needs and the nation's existing housing affordability crisis.
Together, APA and AARP will assess trends in accessory dwelling unit (ADU) adoption, implementation and identify best practices throughout the United States. An ADU is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a single-family home. There are many potential benefits of ADUs, including increasing housing affordability and creating a wider range of housing options within a community.
"With an aging population it is imperative that we look at a range of housing options that meet the needs of older adults," said Rodney Harrell, Director of Livability Thought Leadership, AARP PPI. "The research we are doing with the APA on ADUs helps us to share new insights on how existing housing stock can help solve issues of affordability, accessibility and availability.
Following the assessment to take place this fall, APA and AARP will produce a briefing paper that summarizes research findings and identifies promising practices for implementation. This work will help guide state and local policymakers as they seek to advance new approaches to address housing challenges.
This new collaboration aligns with APA's Planning Home initiative, which aims to reshape the way planners, developers, policy makers and advocates use planning to address our housing affordability and availability crisis. At the foundation of this initiative are six housing principles that will guide planners in addressing critical housing issues. Planning Home recognizes that today's housing challenge demands new tools and better planning. Reforming and improving local codes is essential to addressing the nation's housing crisis. The housing options we plan for today are the homes where families will grow, thrive, and dream in tomorrow.
"Good planning is necessary and must be part of the solution to address the nation's housing crisis," said Cynthia Bowen, FAICP, president of APA. "Working together with organizations like AARP is how, together, we can create more prosperous and equitable communities throughout the country."
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AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning — physical, economic and social — to foster quality of life for all residents. The 40,000 members work in concert with community members, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, the APA Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.