Homes are the heart of our communities and the hubs of our lives. Inter-generational and diverse communities with places for all to live, play, and have purpose are essential to the health and vitality of the places we live. Homes offer us protection, safety, and nourishment of our bodies, minds, and relationships.
Imagine homes that help us live our best lives, no matter our age or ability. This is the vision of IBE’s Lifelong Homes Initiative. In collaboration with partners across Colorado, we are creating and testing a certification program for Lifelong Homes that promotes the development of safe, healthy, and accessible homes for all.
Why Lifelong Homes?
The older adult population in Colorado and globally is growing rapidly. People are living longer, and the largest generation the world has ever seen is now into retirement age. In addition, over 21% of adults in Colorado and 25% of adults nationally live with some type of disability, such as a visual, mobility, cognitive, learning, hearing, mental and/or social disability.
To keep pace with demand, we need more housing options equipped to meet the changing needs that come with aging and/or disability, and that incorporate the latest research on environmental and social determinants of health. Barriers in the market include:
- Lack of incentives for builders to develop homes with these features in mind;
- Lack of homebuyer and homeowner awareness around features that can help them age-in-place and/or live with disabilities;
- Standards and guidance about these features and their benefits; and
- Challenges experienced by municipalities, which are aware of the need, to raise awareness and incentivize the development of better housing.
Qualities of Lifelong Homes
We know more today than ever about how our environments can impact our health, wellness, and longevity. Based on the latest research on environmental and social determinants of health, IBE has designed five categories that re-define what makes homes safe, healthy, and accessible for all. Lifelong Homes are thoughtfully designed with these factors in mind to help us live our best lives, no matter what changes arise.
In partnership with organizations across Colorado, IBE is developing and testing the Lifelong Homes criteria for diverse types of homes and communities across Colorado. We are working toward a statewide standard and tools to help:
- Guide developers and builders in creating more Lifelong Homes
- Inform homeowners and home buyers of Lifelong Homes features; and
- Provide municipalities with tools to accommodate everyone living in their communities.
Currently, we are working with partners to understand the needs and perspectives of diverse stakeholders, and to gather input and feedback on our criteria and how to move forward in creating the standard.
Interested in funding our Lifelong Homes initiative, partnering with us, or piloting the certification system on your own home? Contact us today.
Thanks to Our Supporters
The Lifelong Homes initiative is possible thanks to the generous support of Actual Communities Inc., the City of Centennial, Colorado State University’s Office of the Vice-President for Research, Connell Resources, and the Rose Community Foundation, and the collaboration of our partners: Lifelong Colorado, Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging, the Larimer County Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities (PAFC), the Nancy Richardson Design Center, the City of Centennial, the Rose Community Foundation, Waters’ Edge, LLC., Connell Resources, and New Town Builders.
Read more about the five criteria of Lifelong Homes in Elicia Ratajczyk’s blog post.