Senior Housing Workshop on October 2 at Kennedy Heights Arts Center

Inaugural Kennedy Heights Senior Housing workshop is another demonstration of neighborhood’s commitment to quality of life for seniors

In response to an increasing number of senior residents and their unique needs within the community, Kennedy Heights Development Corporation (KHDC) is hosting a workshop for Kennedy Heights residents about housing for seniors. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, October 2, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, 6546 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati OH 45213.

The first of its kind, the meeting is an opportunity for neighbors and families to provide feedback on the findings of a recent housing study conducted by KHDC’s Affordable Senior Housing Advisory Committee and MKSK Urban Design and Planning Studio. The housing study indicated that seniors would prefer to live out their retirement years in Kennedy Heights, with 65% of respondents aged 50 and over prefer to either remain in the neighborhood or nearby.

Additional findings included that 73% of White and 79% of African-American respondents indicated a preference to receive services that would allow them to remain in their current homes. And when asked about the reasons most likely to cause them to move out of their current homes, 62% of survey participants cited either declining health, accessibility, or home maintenance and upkeep issues.

The need for neighborhood involvement and better housing stock

KHDC’s advisory committee directs the current work to date. The committee includes KHDC members, Kennedy Heights Community Council representatives, and senior living advocates. Clete Benken of MKSK will moderate the October 2 meeting. Clete is a long-time resident of Kennedy Heights and a past leader of Kennedy Heights Community Council and KHDC.

“We want the workshop to be a forum for residents to express their hopes and views about the neighborhood’s housing needs,” said Benken. “The committee’s work has generated greater awareness of resident needs and desires and the significant demographic changes that influence the quality and availability of workforce, low-income, and retiree housing as well as the overall residential make-up of the neighborhood.”

Benken also described the difficulties facing older residents in maintaining a high quality of life. He mentioned inaccessible housing stock, rising rents, escalating homeownership costs and challenges in meeting the transportation needs of low-income families and seniors.

The advisory committee’s four goals from the study’s findings

The committee has set four goals based on the study’s findings: preserve and expand the supply of modern, accessible housing stock; diversify the range of available workforce and affordable housing choices; investigate opportunities for the development of housing forms that enable seniors to age in the community and/or co-habitat with caregiving friends and families; and improve and expand transportation options for seniors and their families.

The housing study is the latest initiative in Kennedy Heights’ years long commitment to improving the lives of its seniors. KHDC launched Aging in Community in 2015 with the support of Kennedy Heights Community Council.

“[Aging in Community] is to address affordable senior housing needs and provide better access to community service resources,” said Steve Grieser, KHDC Housing Committee chairman. Grieser also mentioned that in 2017, Kennedy Heights was invited by Episcopal Retirement Services and Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati to serve as the pilot neighborhood for the Dementia Inclusive Initiative, currently underway.

“KHDC is excited about the next step and hoping there will be a good turnout at the workshop. It is critical to involve residents in the process so we understand and know how to move forward,” said Christine Crowe, KHDC’s project director.

Kennedy Heights Development Corporation Senior Housing Workshop. Tuesday, October 2, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, 6546 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati OH 45213. For questions, contact Steve Grieser at 513-536-6243 or Christine Crowe at kennedyheightsdc1@gmail.com.