Master Plan: 5 Bold Goals

Goal one for 2030
Goal one: Housing for All Stages & Ages

"We will live where we choose as we age in communities that are age-, disability-, and dementia-friendly and climate- and disaster-ready."

Target: Millions of New Housing Options to Age Well

View Goal One’s data indicators and track our progress at the Data Dashboard for Aging.

Older adults, like people of all ages, need housing options that meet changing needs across the decades. Housing that allows for different household sizes, with accessible transportation options, welcoming parks and public spaces, and strong climate and disaster readiness, are foundational to well-being and continued engagement in civic, economic, and social life.

A wider range of housing models are emerging for the second half of life -- such as duplexes and accessory dwelling units to support multi-generational families and caregivers, and new models of residential communities with a range of services -- and these models can be scaled. California’s most well-known housing policy for older homeowners, Proposition 13, has limited property taxes to support affordability as people age; Proposition 13 may also have discouraged moving. The recently enacted Proposition 19 may encourage more older adults to consider moving into different homes and communities for the different stages of aging. While most older Californians are homeowners, older adults who rent homes are facing rising affordability challenges. Sharp gaps in home ownership rates by race and ethnicity, due to the legacy of housing discrimination, means Latinx and Black elders are more likely to be renters than White older Californians. Housing policies grounded in equity – for owners and renters, for all races and all ages, for living alone and all household sizes – can begin to remedy discrimination and advance more housing options for all.

Transportation choices beyond cars both help slow climate change and help adults live in homes of choice, especially after experiencing a decline in the physical mobility or the ability to safely drive. The future of transportation includes more choices for people of all ages (“multi-modal”). Some older adults and people with disabilities need specialized transportation services, such as door-to-door paratransit and escorts to physician’s offices. Accessible transportation networks of buses and additional options keep people of all ages and abilities connected to services, social opportunities, and community activities.

California’s climate and natural landscape offer some of the country’s most beautiful parks and public lands. These spaces are integral to both mental and physical health, playing a critical role in promoting social inclusion. While adults aged 60 and over account for 20 percent of the population, older adults only represent approximately 4 percent of total park users (although, at same time, they are the majority of State Park volunteers).

California’s increasing wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the pressing need for community design that improves our ability to remain safe during climate and human-made disasters, while also taking measures to prevent and prepare for them. While all Californians are impacted by climate change, some populations, including older adults, are more vulnerable than others to its dangers and health consequences.

California will pursue Housing for All Ages & Stages through below strategies and initiatives.

Strategy A: More Housing Options

California communities are increasingly developing more affordable housing options to meet the needs of all stages of life for all people, regardless of age, race, income, ability, or household size. The production, protection, and preservation of affordable housing, including Accessory Dwelling Units and Residential Care Facilities of all sizes, will support older adults, caregivers, and their families.

  • Initiative 1

    - Identify ways to bolster production of more housing options to age well in all California suburban, rural, and urban communities - such as Accessory Dwelling Units that are affordable - to support aging well, caregiving, and affordable housing. (Lead Agency: BCSHA)
  • Initiative 2

    - Provide tax credits and pursue other strategies to continue to prioritize the types of housing units that are not being produced by the market, especially those serving people who are Extremely Low Income (ELI), Very Low Income (VLI) and Low Income individuals (LI), and others experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including but not only older adults and people with disabilities (Lead Agencies: BCSHA, STO)
  • Initiative 3

    - Further facilitate affordable housing production by using monitoring, technical assistance, and enforcement strategies of existing housing production laws. (Lead Agency: BCSHA)
  • Initiative 4

    - Advance fair housing and equity by conducting outreach, education, and surveys, as well as prosecuting violations of anti-housing discrimination laws. (Lead Agency: BCSHA)
  • Initiative 5

    - Review housing planning and data indicators with Strategic Growth Council for older adult demographics and characteristics, for opportunities to update to reflect changes in aging and advance equity goals, including Statewide Housing Assessment, Regional Housing Needs Allocations and Housing Assessment, and include in Data Dashboard for Aging. (Lead Agencies: SGC, BCSHA)
  • Initiative 6

    - : Review current housing program definitions with Strategic Growth Council for inclusion of older adults and advancement of equity, such as the Transit Oriented Housing Development Program, Multi-Family Housing Program, Accessibility and Adaptability standards, the State's Qualified Allocation Plan for Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and Affordable Housing and Sustainability Community Program, among others. (Lead Agencies: SGC, BCSHA, EPA)
  • Initiative 7

    - Explore increasing the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program. (Lead Agency: CalVet)
  • Initiative 8

    - Assess the feasibility of expanding the Adult Family Homes model (currently for adults with a developmental disability) to more aging adults, including with dementia. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 9

    - Explore opportunities to increase availability of housing options with "housing for health" strategies – for example, within the anticipated federal planning grant to develop a Medi-Cal Home and Community Based Services Roadmap, include assessments of the availability of services, providers, and residential options and within a new focus on Medicare innovation – to meet need as federally allowable funds are available. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 10

    - Identify innovative models and solutions to enhance technology in housing options for aging well, in alignment with State Broadband Council's new Strategy per August 2020 Exec Order, including the California Teleconnect Fund and California Advanced Services Fund, and in partnership with housing developers and UC. (Lead Agencies: GovOps, BCSHA)
  • Initiative 11

    - Assess need for housing modifications for aging, such as fall prevention programs, to meet growing and changing needs. (Lead Agency: CHHS)

Strategy B: Transportation Beyond Cars

Age- and disability-friendly transportation networks can be strengthened through improved community walkability and expansion of bus and transit stops, transit rider education and subsidies, seamless paratransit across transit district lines, and driver safety education.

  • Initiative 12

    - Promote within existing resources ways to improve community walkability for older adults and people with disabilities through the California Active Transportation Program and Complete Streets projects. (Lead Agencies: SGC, CalSTA)
  • Initiative 13

    - Promote within existing resources safer transportation for older adults using multiple transportation modes by implementing recommendations from the Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, including consideration of lower speed limits in urban, suburban, and rural areas, to meet needs as funds allow. (Lead Agencies: SGC, CalSTA)
  • Initiative 14

    - Promote within existing resources free bus/transit (including using digital ID solutions to streamline access) and transit rider education, both beginning at younger ages, as well as integration of fare systems to increase access in urban, suburban and rural areas, to meet needs. (Lead Agencies: CalSTA, GovOps)
  • Initiative 15

    - Promote expansion of bus/transit stops that are age- and disability-friendly (e.g., locations, seating, weather) to meet needs. (Lead Agency: CalSTA)
  • Initiative 16

    - Establish person-centered MOU's between transit districts to allow paratransit to cross transit district lines to meet rider needs. (Lead Agency: CalSTA)
  • Initiative 17

    - Encourage innovation in flexible transit options, for example demand response, especially but not only in rural communities. (Lead Agency: CalSTA)
  • Initiative 18

    - Provide older driver safety education training, including information about transportation options other than driving, to meet needs as funds allow. (Lead Agency: CalSTA)
  • Initiative 19

    - Review community walkability scores and Vehicle Miles Traveled data for opportunities to analyze with aging demographics and to include in Data Dashboard for Aging. (Lead Agencies: SGC, CalSTA)

Strategy C: Outdoor & Community Spaces for All Ages

All Californians can benefit from more convenient park access within a ten-minute walk or less, co-location of parks with community centers offering programming for all ages, and incorporation of smart park technologies.

  • Initiative 20

    - Explore targeting public and private park funds to age- and disability-friendly activities for all ages, including models such as slow streets, SMART parks, parklets for emerging placemaking, and more, in all areas of state. (Lead Agency: CNRA)
  • Initiative 21

    - Explore targeting new public and private park funds to communities that are more than a 10-minute walk from a park (currently 25%) so all Californians of all ages and abilities can access parks in all areas of state. (Lead Agency: CNRA)
  • Initiative 23

    - Promote Blue Zones for dementia-friendly communities, especially in cities and counties with higher proportions of racial groups with disparate rates of dementia. (Lead Agency: CHHS)

Strategy D: Emergency Preparedness & Response

Preparation and planning with and for older adults and people with disabilities is especially important to prioritize, given the higher risk of death or harm due to emergencies and disasters. Improving technologies and communications that address the access and functional needs of residents during disasters can also improve preparedness and response to these growing populations.

  • Initiative 24

    - Consider improvements in online emergency tools for older, disabled, and at-risk adults and caregivers, in multiple languages, to meet needs. (Lead Agencies: ODI, CHHS)
  • Initiative 25

    - Develop online and other tools within existing resources to coordinate mutual aid for residents by Residential Living and Nursing Home facilities during emergencies. (lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 26

    - Continue LISTOS CA "Check in" telephone calls that began during COVID-19, as well as other disaster preparedness work, with isolated and harder to reach older adults, in multiple languages, to meet needs within existing funding. (Lead Agency: OES)
  • Initiative 27

    - Conduct after-action analyses of COVID-19, including the impact on older, disabled, and at-risk adults, as one way to identify strategies to prevent future pandemic, emergency, and disaster-related deaths and disparities in deaths by age, ability, income, race, language, and other equity measures. (Lead Agency: CHHS)

Strategy E: Climate-Friendly Aging

Age-friendly communities are naturally in alignment with environmentally friendly initiatives, including low-emissions transportation systems; walkable and low vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) neighborhoods and cities; and in-home energy-saving modifications. Community planning can factor in climate impact and safety, including disaster resiliency, in new, updated, and rebuilt housing and transportation.

  • Initiative 28

    - Gradually factor in climate impact and safety, including disaster resiliency, in new (and rebuilt) Residential Living and other age- and disability-friendly housing, by considering infill opportunities and wildland urban interface issues. (Lead Agencies: BCSHA, CDI)
  • Initiative 29

    - Advocate for the new federal administration to increase support for housing modifications for climate, via weatherization services reaching older adults and people with disabilities, to meet need and as funds available. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 30

    - Set targets and develop strategies to include older adults and people with disabilities, of all races and ethnicities, in California Climate Action Corps. (Lead Agency: CalVols)
  • Initiative 31

    - Support paratransit conversion to zero emission vehicles, including new light-duty paratransit vehicles by 2035 and all other transit vehicles by 2045, within existing resources. (Lead Agencies: EPA, CalSTA)
  • Initiative 32

    - Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled and overall climate impact by aging and disability services at state and local levels. (Lead Agency CHHS)

Housing is essential to our ability to age where and how we choose with dignity. We must ensure that all Californians have access to safe and affordable housing options that meet our needs at every stage of life.

Lourdes Castro-Ramirez, Secretary of the CA Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency
Local Models: Age Well San Diego
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Age Well San Diego has a vision for affordable housing and age-friendly communities, which includes goals of implementing zoning ordinances that create mixed-use villages; policies and programs to prevent homelessness; increased affordable housing stock, including Accesory Dwelling Units; and developing supports to assist older adults in aging where they choose.