Older adults’ housing challenges reflect social and financial inequalities and can lead to poor health

Housing is a basic necessity. Yet, in recent years, the rising cost of living—particularly for renters—has shed light on how precarious housing can be for some Americans. For older adults, this hazard may spill over to health outcomes.

For those with secure housing—such as homeowners without a mortgage—health-related concerns may be centered on accessibility and aging in place. In contrast, renters’ housing is often more tenuous and health outcomes may be strongly linked to underlying socioeconomic distress and ongoing financial challenges.

Researchers, with support from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), are uncovering strong links between housing affordability and health outcomes for older Americans. These findings can be used by policymakers to center housing interventions when seeking to improve older Americans’ health and well-being.

Diana Elliott, More Than Shelter: How Housing Affordability Is Linked to Older Americans’ Health, Population Reference Bureau