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blue house with grassy front yardMost older adults (73%) in San Diego County own their home, but older adults who rent (27%) report that affordable housing is in short supply. The majority of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent. With increasing housing costs, seniors on a fixed income may be vulnerable to homelessness. Age-friendly communities provide residents with a variety of affordable housing options and locate homes near shops and services. For older adults who no longer drive, living near a grocery store, health clinic and community center is critical to healthy aging.


Older adults live in safe and affordable housing that is located near goods, services and activities, all of which allows them to age in their community.


  1. Implement zoning ordinances and design requirements that create accessible, mixed-use villages with a variety of housing types and services.
  2. Implement policies and programs to prevent and overcome homelessness.
  3. Institutionalize a coordinated approach to creating and financing affordable housing stock.
  4. Develop comprehensive supports associated with housing for successfully aging in community (e.g. educate the public on “granny flats”).

Join the Theme Team

The Housing Theme Team is led by representatives from AARP® with support from community members and County of San Diego staff.

For more information or to join the Housing Theme Team, please contact Dalija Dragisic at dalija.dragisic@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Get Connected and Learn More

Accessory Dwelling Units

An Accessory Dwelling Unit is an attached or detached residence that provides all living facilities (sleeping, cooking, etc.) on the same parcel as a single-family dwelling. Sometimes called “granny flats,” these units can provide opportunities for multiple generations to live together, create rental income, or provide affordable housing for an older adult. The Age Well Housing Team is working on developing educational materials, including presentation slides, to encourage building of more Accessory Dwelling Units.

After reviewing the information provided above, if you still have questions please contact Planning & Development Services:

Planning & Development Services
(858) 495-5382

Affordable Housing

The Age Well Housing team identified several reports that outline current efforts in the region to increase affordable housing stock and overall housing affordability.

Planning and Development Services’ October 2018 Report: “Options to Improve Housing Affordability in the Unincorporated Area.” This report provides an extensive literature review of affordable housing strategies, and catalogues current and future policies that will be implemented in the County of San Diego.


According to the Regional Taskforce on Homelessness Point-in-Time Counts, the number of unsheltered homeless older adults in San Diego County increased from 1,598 (2017) to 1,747 (2018). In the 2018 count, 703 older adults reported that they were over the age of 55 when they became homeless for the first time.

San Diego Regional Taskforce on the Homeless: The Regional Task Force on the Homeless is an integrated array of stakeholders committed to preventing and alleviating homelessness in San Diego. They provide essential data and insights on the issue of homelessness, informing policy and driving system design and performance.

Mixed-Used Development

Age-friendly communities have mixed-use zoning that places housing within walking distance to shops and services. Mixed-use developments provide residents of all ages more opportunities to stay engaged and active.

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