Realizing Innovative Senior Housing Practices in the U.S.

Deirdre Pfeiffer, Ashlee Tziganuk, Scott Cloutier, Julia Colbert, Gracie Strasser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Innovative methods for housing seniors have long existed. Two approaches discussed often are cohousing and accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Cohousing and ADUs are more prevalent in Denmark and Canada, respectively, than in the U.S. U.S. housing planners, policymakers, and advocates have long expressed interest in adapting and scaling up these approaches. However, few cohousing communities or ADUs have been built for seniors in the U.S. This chapter draws on semi-structured interviews with 22 U.S., Danish, and Canadian housing practitioners and experts on seniors to explore the challenges of meeting seniors’ housing needs through cohousing and ADUs in the U.S. and to understand how the challenges can be overcome. Findings show the numerous potential benefits innovative senior housing can have on seniors’ physical, social, and financial accessibility. However, barriers such as regulations and financing provide challenges and opportunities for innovative senior housing. This chapter concludes with a set of lessons learned and next steps for meeting seniors’ needs through cohousing and ADUs in the U.S. Furthermore, this chapter moves the conversation from visioning to implementation, showing how housing advocates can play a vital role in aiding seniors’ housing needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781317282709
ISBN (Print)9781138188433
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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