Home environmental barriers for low-income elderly renters

Daejin Kim, Sung Jin Lee, Suk Kyung Kim, Valerie L. Giddings, Sheryl Renee Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this research was to assess environmental barriers faced by low-income elderly renters in their homes and to propose residential design and managerial solutions to support their aging in place. The authors visited 23 rental homes occupied by low-income elderly residents in order to assess the entrances, kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms and interview the residents to identify their needs with regard to changes or improvements to their homes. Results revealed that bathrooms had more barriers than the other interior spaces; all participants had at least one environmental barrier in their bathroom. Several critical environmental barriers were also found in the entrances, kitchens, and living rooms. This study also assessed how many of the 11 home environmental barriers appeared in residents’ homes and found that, on average, elderly renters had 5.26 environmental barriers in their homes. Low-income elderly renters in community-dwelling units, which rarely offered maintenance services, expressed more concerns related to environmental barriers than did renters in senior-housing units. When asked about their home-improvement desires, the elderly renters referenced their bathrooms most frequently. These empirical research findings strongly support the need for regular examinations of environmental barriers in low-income rental housing for elders and a comprehensive design and managerial strategy to support low-income elderly renters who wish to age in place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Locke Science Publishing Company, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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