The Next Big Apartment Trend Could Be Universal Design
Digested from Property Management Insider
In the past, Universal Design—creating living space easily accessible to aging residents—has largely been a trend for builders and remodelers. But Tim Blackwell writes for Property Management Insider that designing to help older residents get around their homes is becoming a bigger focus in multifamily.
Among the common Universal Design upgrades are lighting and task lighting, curb-less showers, grab bars, non-slip floors and wide doorways. There are ways to add these features without turning an apartment into an obvious assistive living space.
“A 55-plus community outfitted with 42-inch-tall electrical outlets that save the back, fashionable Kohler grab bars that double as a sturdy towel rack or wall shelf or no-step entries that minimize tripping and falling are scoring high,” Blackwell writes.
If apartment owners and developers can add Universal Design upgrades, there will be a growing market for them. By 2030, 18 percent of the nation will be age 65 or older, according to Pew Research.
“The common anecdote we hear in the industry is that you are building for Millennials and getting Gen Xers and Boomers,” Blackwell quoted Jay Parsons of MPF Research as saying. “But you have to look at what’s going on with the boomers. The sheer number of people entering the 50-to-60 demographic is creating more housing demand than with younger renters.”