Retired?...or ReWired? Episode 6: Housing in Portland

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Air date: 
Fri, 07/06/2018 - 12:00pm
Dr. Margaret Neal of the Portland Institute on Aging talks about the housing crisis in the city and how it affects the elderly.

6.  Housing:

The housing shortage; accessibility and planning.



Dr. Margaret Neal is the Director of the Institute on Aging of Portland State University…Her interests include nearly all the subjects we’re looking into in this series:  Designing age-friendly communities and neighborhoods; transportation needs and options for older adults; strategies for promoting healthy aging; global aging issues; older workers…. Dr. Neal co-coordinates the Age-Friendly Portland (AFP) and Multnomah Couny Advisory Council, which developed an action plan to create a more age-friendly Portland approved by City Council and now being implemented.  She leads a service-learning program focused on aging and health in Nicaragua in conjunction with the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, and with Dr. Paula Carder heads up the Aging Matters, Locally and Globally initiative.  Dr. Neal also is Co-Principal Investigator of the Oregon Geriatric Education Center with Dr. Elizabeth Eckstromat Oregon Health & Science University.


Among her publications are: Creating an Age-Friendly Portland: From Research to Policy to Action. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, which she co-authored with Alan DeLaTorre and Paula Carder  




  • What is the Institute on Aging, and what is it doing as part of the Planning Department? 
  • What does it mean to be old?  What’s your age cut-off for elderly?
  • What are the key elderly demographic trends, Let’s talk about the world, the nation and the Portland metro area---mostly the Portland area. 
  •   I meet lots of people who have moved here after a career.  Why do they do that?  How is Portland better than say Phoenix or Sarasota?
  • Portland is one of 33 cities in the World Health Organization's Age-Friendly Cities project.  What does this mean?  It was a few years ago---is it still going on?
  • What if anything is unique about Portland with respect to elder ly population?
  • What are the City policies that affect the elderly?  Are they correct, are they working?
  • Does the IOA have any positions on policies that it is working with the City to adopt?
  • What are the leading trends in care and planning related to the elderly?
  • What technologies are going to have the biggest impact on the elderly---e.g., home shopping, drone delivery, ,
  • How can Portland position itself as a place where old folks want to live, enjoy living, can stay in their homes and can contribute to our culture and economy?  Do you have any specific suggestions about how we can make Portland a place for all ages?


Dr DeLaTorre is an Intern at PSU, where he received his doctorate degree.  His interests include planning for age-friendly cities; global aging; urban and regional planning for an aging society; housing and environments for older adults; accessible environments; aging in community;


He is the co-coordinator for the Age-Friendly Portland & Multnomah Count initiatives Cities project (in collaboration with the World Health Organization and AARP) and is the coordinator and faculty for Global Aging and Health: Enhancing Communities in Nicaragua program (in collaboration with the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation).

  • What does it mean to be old?  What’s your age cut-off for elderly?
  • What is the role of the OGA and what does it do? 
  • What is the Age Friendly Program
  • Is Portland a good place to retire?
  • Let’s talk about city neighborhoods and planning.  Are there specific neighborhoods in the City with relatively high proportion of elderly?
  • Are there different issues associated with neighborhoods?
  • What are the race and class issues associated with the elderly in Portland?
  • Talking about housing, how about issues of price and affordability.  Does the rapid growth in housing prices/values generally benefit older people?
  • What are the leading housing alternatives for the elderly?  Are there “adu’s” here that are useful for elderly?
  • Has there been a voice for the elderly in public policy decision-making.
  • Other housing-related issues.


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