AGING IN MT AIRY


In 2013, the WMAN Task Force on Aging surveyed community members to learn (a) what living options aging Mt. Airy residents were considering, (b) where they hoped to live, and (c) what kind of housing they would prefer. The Task Force distributed the anonymous survey through the mailing lists of WMAN, Weaver’s Way, My Way, and several local churches and synagogues. The ­results are outlined below. The Task Force received 443 completed responses, of which 86% were from residents of 19119. Of the respondents, 66% were 61 and older; 25% were between 51 and 60. Fifty­seven percent found it “very desirable” to remain in Mt Airy; 30% found it “important,” but were also “considering other options.” Of types of housing respondents preferred,

• One­floor condo, 52%;

• Free­standing one­story house, 40%;

• Independent senior housing with appropriate accommodations, 37%.

The seven most essential amenities of respondents, in order of preference were: close to shopping; close to SEPTA; two bedrooms (51%); fully accessible in an elevator multi­story building; a private or community garden; pets allowed; and Seventy­two of the respondents “wanted to be near”: the Coop, 72%; 63% wanted to be near Wissahickon woods, 42% near Germantown Ave., 37% near their place of worship (unspecified). Nineteen percent preferred three bedroom units, 5% wanted Forty­four percent preferred to stay in their present homes. Of respondents who would like to stay in Mt. Airy, but felt they would need to move from their present house, more than 25% considered $200,000­$400,000 a “reasonable” price range for a new home, while 9% would consider spending above $400,000. Because of residents’ intense interest in aging in place, demonstrated by their response to our survey, WMAN will soon post information about where to locate “aging in place” renovations on its website. In addition, it plans to circulate Task Force findings to developers and real estate agents in the hope that they will develop one­floor condos and houses in the neighborhood. Although past efforts to encourage such developments have been unsuccessful, now the time may be right to consider renovating some large Mt Airy houses into 2 or 4 condos.

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