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Winners of the 2008 Livable Communities Awards from AARP and NAHB Anticipate Trend, Lead Movement toward User-Friendly Homes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25? One in four baby boom generation households (26%) expects to move from their current home in the future, with the majority looking for a single-level home that is more comfortable or convenient, according to a new survey prepared for AARP.

Echoing past surveys, most boomers (79%) say they would like to stay in their current home for as long as possible. Some – less than 10% — said they would like to stay in their current home but don’t think they will be able to do so.

Many of those who expect to move said they will be looking for a better house, a better climate or a home that is closer to family and friends. More than half of those boomers (age 45-64) planning to move expect to look for a home that’s all on one level (59%). About half said they will look for a newer home (50%) or a smaller home (49%).

The poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for AARP * was released to coincide with the announcement of the 2008 Livable Communities Awards from AARP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) honoring innovative thinking in the field of home and community design.

Older boomers are significantly more likely than younger boomers to think that they will move into a single level home (68% vs. 54% of those planning to move), but age is not the only factor that affects expectations. Boomer men are more likely than women to believe they will move into a newer home (61% vs. 42%) or move into a home in a warmer or better climate (41% vs. 25%) Boomer women are more likely than men to think they will move into a smaller home (54% v. 41%).

"While boomers will reflect the patterns of earlier generations and mostly age in place," said Elinor Ginzler, Senior Vice President of AARP, "the sheer number of boomers will increase demand for a whole variety of home and community options. The 2008 Livable Communities Award winners offer some great examples of appealing, user-friendly design." The number of persons age 65 and older is expected grow to 70 million by 2030.

"The winners of the 2008 Livable Communities Awards have clearly taken note of the increasing demand for more accessible, livable homes and communities, and are on the leading edge of change," said Sandy Dunn, Chairman of the Board of NAHB and a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va. "The trend-setting homes and communities we honor with the 2008 Livable Communities Awards meet the demands of both today and tomorrow’s homeowners by combining easy living with inviting design."


The 2008 AARP and NAHB Livable Communities awards recognize four companies in four categories whose projects enhance the daily comfort, ease and safety of the people who live in them:


Interior Design Details (for the Rathbun Residence in Brea, CA). This remodeled home was designed for a woman who unexpectedly developed an illness that limited her mobility. Interior Design Details built archways and widened doorways in addition to installing automation and sensor units. The client’s desire for a comfortable and usable yet beautiful remodel was met through the use of slip-resistant interior floors, lever door handles, dimmer light switches, granite countertops, and other stylish touches.


New Millennial Homes (for The Freedom Home in Tampa, FL). Rather than creating another run-of-the-mill home adapted for a resident with special needs, New Millennial Homes met or exceeded all applicable accessibility standards with a beautiful home that provides freedom and ease of movement for the resident. The builder met the goal of keeping the home affordable by using Energy Star-rated appliances, state-of-the-art insulation and many other measures to reduce utility costs over time.


The Winery LLC (for Vineyard Lane in Bainbridge Island, WA). This former vineyard turned innovative, livable forty-five condominium campus is located on a beautiful 4-acre heritage site just a stone’s throw from both the quaint downtown area of Bainbridge Island and the city of Seattle. The property’s rustic, well-lit cobblestone walkways, extensive elevator access, oversize windows, level front entrances, coffee house, and other numerous public patios provide for a classy, comfortable, and livable environment.


HallKeen, The Braverman Company and New Boston Fund (for Winooski Falls in Winooski, VT). This northwestern Vermont development provides residents with a real sense of small-town community and a strong identity with proximity to a riverfront walkway and many public transportation options, downtown Burlington, countless shops, restaurants, two college/university campuses and the largest hospital in the state. The community of Winooski prides itself on "smart growth" – building community while protecting the environment – offering energy-efficient, universally-designed and affordable units.


Established in 2007 by AARP and NAHB, the Livable Communities Awards are presented annually to builders, remodelers and developers for projects that enhance the daily lives of people of all ages and abilities by incorporating:

- design elements that accommodate the needs of all residents with all levels of physical ability from children through grandparents;

- easy access to community services and features such as retail, restaurants, medical, social and cultural activities, as well as viable transportation options;

- improved energy efficiency and enhanced site design; and

- better communication with key stakeholders

A panel of expert judges appointed by NAHB and AARP reviewed applications and selected the finalists. Judging criteria varied from category to category, but points were awarded based on: 1) Universal Design Features; 2) Ease of Maintenance and Energy Efficiency; 3) Exterior Design and Landscaping/Site Design; 4) Incorporation of Livable Community Design Features; and 5) Stakeholder Involvement.

Winners will be honored at a dinner in Washington, DC on December 10, 2008 and will also be featured in AARP The Magazine, the nation’s most widely circulated magazine. For more information, photos and video clips of the winning projects, visit

The poll was conducted August 29–September 8th, 2008 by Opinion Research Corporation using CARAVAN®, a weekly national telephone survey. Interviews were conducted with 1,273 respondents age 45 to 64 using a stratified, random-digit dialing sample of U.S. telephone households. All responses were subsequently weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, and region to be nationally representative of the U.S. population 18+. The margin of error is +/- 6%.



ABOUT AARP: AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s 39 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 235,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct 80 percent of the nearly 1 million new housing units projected for 2008.

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