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Many Older Kentuckians Burdened by Cost of Housing

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Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
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About one-quarter of Kentucky residents age 50 and older who live in regions around Louisville, Owensboro, Bowling Green and Elizabethtown are burdened by high housing costs that require 30-to-50 percent of their income. That’s according to Housing Americans Older Adults 2018, a new report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

That housing burden is about the same for residents around Evansville, Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee.

Most financial advisors suggest that housing costs should not exceed 25 to 30 percent of income.

Rising housing and healthcare costs are expected to cause adults now in their 50s and 60s to struggle to pay for basic necessities in their later years.

The report found that the U.S. has a growing demand for “age-friendly” communities with affordable housing, with accessibility features like elevators, near healthcare facilities and other services.

According to the report, more than half of U.S. households are headed by someone 50 or over.  And the living arrangements, financial resources, health and functional abilities of those households will present serious challenges in the years to come. 

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Note: You can read the entire report and view the interactive map with county-by-county data at  http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/housing-americas-older-adults-2018

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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