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Idaho Enterprise

“Design for Life” meeting to be held June 5

The City of Malad will be hosting a meeting for community members, developers, and stakeholders to discuss the future of housing in the community.  The meeting is part of Malad’s “Age-Friendly Community” initiative to make the city a place where people of all ages are able to access and use services such as housing as easily as possible.

In previous discussions, the relative lack of affordable, easy access and low maintenance housing has been noted, so the Four County Alliance of SE Idaho (4CASI) secured a technical assistance grant to help provide guidance and support toward planning age-friendly homes for the community.  The grant was provided by AARP, and involved the work of the Better Living Design Institute.

Everyone in the public is invited to the meeting, but the organizers are especially eager to hear the input of builders interested in building in the community, planning and zoning officials, citizens in the area, residents interested in accessible housing for themselves and/or relatives, and elected officials responsible for making decisions about housing.

The organization would like to present and get input on what would work in Malad, what issues community members see themselves and others facing, and what types of housing options are desired. The meeting itself is solely for the purpose of education about what other designs are out there to support aging citizens, though it will be used in the service of future planning.

The desired outcomes on behalf of the granting agency are to provide guidance and ideas for builders to think about when building in the community. The project is designed to provide guidance and educate our community about issues that are not always addressed or considered when building.  As a community with a significant percentage of its population at or nearing retirement age, Malad is in a position to actively plan for responsive housing before it’s too late.

Presently, there are not a lot of homes that a senior with limited mobility can transition to in the area. Most of these type of homes will have little to no maintenance, one step entry, no stairs and bars to assist in showers, and throughout home. The numbers of these types of homes listed in the local area have been low, and house prices and rentals have been growing steadily over last few years. 

The meeting will encourage people to ask family members and neighbors their plans for housing when they get older. Where do they expect to live, do they have a plan?

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