Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor(hood) NORC?

Which area of Pittsburgh is best suited for a "Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community"?

Here how NY State is defining a NNORC, as part of a state-funded effort to help elders age in community:
The term Neighborhood NORC shall mean and refer to a residential dwelling or group of residential dwellings in a geographically defined neighborhood of a municipality which:

1. contains not more than two thousand persons who are elderly (i.e., 60 years of age or older);
2. contains elderly in at least forty percent of the units;
3. is made up of low-rise buildings six stories or less in height and/or single and multi-family homes;
4. area was not originally developed for elderly persons; and,
5. does not restrict admission strictly to the elderly.
The NNORC they're starting in Albany is in the southwest section of town, where 27% of the residents are over the age of 60 and 47% of the households have at least one resident 65 years of age or older. Here's the NY State request for proposals (.pdf) to help fund it.

I'm looking at Pittsburgh's 2000 census data and so far Swisshelm Park looks like a pretty good candidate for a NNORC - though probably on the small side for really making it work (only 1,378 residents). In 1999, 27.8% of residents there were over age 62, and 40.5% of the households had someone over age 65.

The New York Times article back in June described several examples of the growing "grassroots effort to grow-old at home."

I seem to recall reading somewhere about a group in Mt. Lebanon meeting to discuss this approach, but can't find a link anywhere.

Here is a
program in St. Louis. that seeks to link community volunteers with good old fashioned Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (where the elders are co-located in an actual building).

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