Senior Strategic Policy Advisor

Rodney Harrell, PhD, is a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor with the AARP Public Policy Institute and is responsible for AARP’s housing research agenda. His expertise includes housing affordability and accessibility, transit-oriented development, community redevelopment and sustainable community initiatives.

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What Is a Livable Community, and How Do We Measure One?

Older adults have a diverse range of preferences, needs and constraints. Income, caregiver/disability status, race and ethnicity, location and other personal factors all impact residents’ perspective on the features of their community. To advance our understanding of community livability, we held focus groups and fielded a nationwide survey to look at what older adults want and need in their communities. Their responses addressed many components of AARP’s official definition of a “livable community. These include safety, affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, community …

Want to Influence Policy? Join AARP’s Advisory Council

AARP members with policy experience should consider applying for our all-volunteer National Policy Council (NPC), which serves as an advisory body to the AARP Board of Directors, which sets AARP policies. Becoming a member of the NPC requires more than policy expertise. Members attend NPC meetings in person at least four times in Washington or around the country. NPC members also participate in webinars and conference calls throughout the year and prepare for these by reading substantial amounts of information …

What’s Happened to Housing Affordability?

The National Association of Realtors announced earlier this year that its Housing Affordability Index shows 2012 was a record year for housing affordability.  Subsequently, articles appeared in the media with titles such as “Housing Today Is More Affordable Than at Any Time in History” and “2012 a Banner Year for Housing Affordability, Industry Group Says.” In addition, I’ve seen TV reports that continue to note how affordable housing has become. All of these are at odds with study findings presented …