Excitement Builds for Aging-in-Place Homes

Chances are, you’ve heard the term “aging in place.” Simply put, aging in place means staying in your own home as you get older. Aging-in-place homes typically feature amenities such as first-floor master suites, easy-to-operate windows, door handles and faucets, slip-resistant flooring in bathrooms and kitchens, and wheelchair-friendly doorways and layout.

In partnership with Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) and Ward 15 Councilmember Jenny Spencer, the Cuyahoga Land Bank recently began construction of two aging-in-place homes on West 75th Street in Cleveland’s Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. These innovative homes are located in one of Northeast Ohio’s hottest housing markets and will offer mobility-friendly, comfortable living for residents of any age, from young families to empty nesters.

Planning these homes required foresight and a collaborative spirit between the partners. “When Jenny Spencer and DSCDO first approached us with a vision for infill, aging-in-place housing, we were immediately interested,” said Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “We share DSCDO and the Council member’s vision of ensuring that Detroit Shoreway and the west side of Cleveland will offer a range of housing options for new and longtime residents. As a parent of a young adult with a physical disability, housing insecurity can be a real issue to achieving independence. Likewise, seniors with mobility restrictions can remain vibrant and contributing members of the neighborhood,” Frangos explained.

The aging-in-place homes’ anticipated sales prices are in the low to mid $300,000s. Fifteen-year tax abatements will be offered as an incentive and there are no income-restrictions. The development team for the housing units is City Architecture, Civic Builders, and the Cuyahoga Land Bank Programs department headed up by Programs Director Dennis Roberts.
 
“We don’t yet know what demand will be or how the market will respond to this new housing product,” says Frangos. “While we expect margins to be thin, we also expect to learn a tremendous amount through this pilot and hope to pursue more aging-in-place projects.”

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