Making Room: Housing for a Changing America

February 28, 2019


A ARP staff and volunteers are working in towns, cities and counties nationwide to help local leaders make their communities more livable for people of all ages. Among the keys to livability is housing that is both suitable for and adaptable to the diverse and ever-changing needs of American households and individuals.

By 2030, 1 in 5 people in the United States will be age 65 or over. And by 2035, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time ever. America’s current housing stock doesn’t fit a rapidly aging population. In 2017, more than 19 million older adults were living in housing that didn’t provide them with the best opportunity to live independently, and only about one percent of the nation’s present housing is equipped to meet their needs. The healthiest and most vibrant communities are livable for people of all ages.

Making Room: Housing for a Changing America introduces a potential future in which people of all ages, life stages, abilities and incomes can select from a wider menu of housing options. Based on the National Building Museum exhibition Making Room, this publication showcases how architects, policymakers, developers, planners and even the general public are working to meet the housing needs of the nation’s evolving, 21st-century households.

Organized into four parts, Making Room begins with a look at the nation's changing demographics and household types, followed by a collection of more than three-dozen housing solutions and then a "tour" of The Open House, an interactive, furnished demonstration home that was created for the exhibition and could seamlessly accommodate three entirely different household living arrangements.

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