LeadingAge is Helping HUD and Japan Explore Aging in Place

CFAR | August 22, 2017 | by Geralyn Magan

The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston (formerly the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research) and other research organizations in the U.S. and Japan are developing case studies describing innovative programs that explore promising approaches to financing housing for older adults, identifying connections between health and housing, and creating healthy and accessible communities.

LeadingAge is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ginnie Mae, and the government of Japan to explore strategies that could help older adults remain in their homes and communities for longer.

The project is part of a formal agreement between HUD and Japan to work cooperatively on researching innovative approaches to housing vulnerable older adults in both nations.

"Our nations have much to learn from each other, and we recognize that our strength is measured by our regard, respect, and care of the elderly," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson after he and representatives of the Japanese government signed the agreement in Washington, DC. "Working together, the U.S. and Japan will combine our strengths to find new and innovative approaches to housing our older citizens."

Innovation Forum and Case Studies

Work on the cooperative research initiative began in February when HUD and Ginnie Mae hosted a U.S.-Japan Housing and Finance Innovation Forum in Washington. Ginnie Mae, a government-owned corporation within HUD, promotes affordable access to housing finance through mortgage-backed securities.

Robyn Stone, senior vice president of research at LeadingAge, was one of 15 researchers participating in the forum, which brought together Japanese and American experts to discuss trends, research, and policies related to aging in place and housing finance in both countries. Researchers also discussed next steps for the joint research project.

As a result of those discussions, the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston (formerly the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research) and other research organizations in the U.S. and Japan are developing case studies describing innovative programs that explore promising approaches to:

  • Financing housing for older adults.
  • Identifying connections between health and housing.
  • Seeking public-private partnerships.
  • Creating healthy and accessible communities.
  • Developing viable policies in a constrained budget environment.

Sharing Ideas and Innovation

Japan and the United States have different approaches to delivering services and resources to older adults, according to a statement from HUD. Japan relies more on government entities to support older adults, according to HUD, while the United States relies heavily on the private and nonprofit sectors and volunteers.

“By gaining a greater understanding of each country's approach to this challenge, both the United States and Japan will be able to take advantage of new ideas, innovative strategies, and evidence-based policies, allowing each country to better support and finance the needs of their populations as they age,” said the HUD statement.