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The housing gap for Michigan’s senior, disabled residents

Panel discusses housing gap for Michigan’s senior, disabled residents
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 12:40 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A house is expensive to build, so a home is difficult to find for people who have different needs.

Most houses are not designed with accessibility for older people and people with disabilities in mind. Housing that does have accessibility is often too expensive for average people to afford.

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In response to the issue, the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) hosted an online panel discussion about it’s recent report, which explores what Michigan can do to relieve some of the stress for the state’s aging and disabled population.

The report notes that Michigan is one of the fastest aging states in the nation, with one in four residents turning 65 by 2035. At the same time, nearly 1 in 3 Michigan adults have a disability.

The panel discussed solutions to the problems in housing these populations face, such as the current shortage of healthcare workers that make independent living possible for some.

A MLPP representative, Julie Cassidy, said, “Even after a pay increase instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the average wage for a home health aide in Michigan is less than the $14.71 full-time hourly wage needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment.”

The panel consisted of representatives from AARP Michigan, Detroit Disability Power, MLPP and Disability Network Southwest Michigan.

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