Building Livable Communities for All Ages in Washington, D.C.

  Many perceive Washington, DC as being a livable community. It has plenty of shops, interesting neighborhoods, fun destinations, lively streets, and transit options. Yet is the nation’s capital truly livable? A livable community is livable for people of all ages. Shops should include stores with healthy food choices and pharmacies, while interesting neighborhoods mean housing for diverse household types. Fun destinations should feature not just costly options, but recreation centers, libraries, and parks.  Lively streets should be safe for …

Communities See Rising Livability Index Scores With Policy Adoption

By Jana Lynott & Shannon Guzman, AARP Public Policy Institute Communities across the country are taking steps to become more livable, and AARP is tracking their progress. Today the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) posted new data to its Livability Index based on an update of 19 of the index’s 20 policies.[1] A powerful free tool that anyone can access at www.aarp.org/livabilityindex, the Livability Index scores neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. for the services and amenities that affect people’s …

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 …

Mortgages Snare Bigger Share of Boomers’ Earnings

Remember how our parents paid off their homes and then retired? Fewer of us are doing that today. What’s more, our house payments are taking a bigger chunk of our earnings than they did a decade ago, according to an AARP report. Older, middle-income families spent 30 percent or more of their income on housing, up from 20 percent in 2000, the report finds. The median monthly cost: $1,460, up from $1,277 in 2000. Sure, the recession set many families …