MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A first-of-its-kind home adhering to the standard of "ageless design" was unveiled today in Memphis. The home is part of a groundbreaking effort by AARP, AARP Foundation, Home Matters and the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, which challenged architects through a nationwide competition to create new standards in housing design that allow adults to stay in their homes throughout their lives. The Memphis home will be donated to 54-year old U.S. Army veteran Walter Moody.
"An overwhelming majority of older people want to stay in their homes and communities as they age," said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. "This 'ageless design' contest provides a strong example of what we as a society need to do to help make this a reality. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, this competition is a wake-up call that we need better solutions that allow people to have more control over how and where they live."
Home Matters aims to set a precedent with the winning design, which it expects will guide millions of Americans in developing a plan for their own homes to meet their needs, regardless of age or income.
"We view housing as the linchpin of well-being. It's what drives our support for innovative designs that reshape the future of housing," said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation. "We all want a home that can adapt to our needs as we age. This competition brings workable housing options to life so people of all income levels, including the most vulnerable seniors, can see that independent living is possible for them."
The first-place design, by IBI Group – Gruzen Samton, has been incorporated into the Memphis home, which was donated by Wells Fargo in coordination with Home Matters' on-the-ground partner, United Housing, Inc. (UHI), and with The Home Depot Foundation's donation of materials and volunteer support.
"While this is just one home, it provides a model of various universal design elements that, no matter what budget someone has, can be added to help improve their emotional and physical well-being now and into the future – a home forever," said Dave Brown, CEO of Home Matters. "Because home is a quality-of-life issue."
The three top designs were selected because they adhere to the principles of universal design, an approach to home building, remodeling and community development that centers on safety, ease of movement and attractive design for all ages, both inside and outside the home. All three winners went beyond traditional shelter and addressed the connections between housing and other important social factors, such as community, affordability, accessibility, aesthetics, flexibility and environment.
"We believe everyone deserves a decent, safe place to call home," said Martin Sundquist, executive director of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, which donated the Memphis home. "Our mission is to work with nonprofits to create stronger communities and we are proud to join Home Matters, and others, to team up and help make Mr. Moody's dream of homeownership a reality. I'm hopeful the Home Matters movement inspires additional efforts to create more affordable and sustainable housing across the country."
The Memphis home will be donated to Walter Moody, a 54-year-old U.S. Army veteran. He was selected not only because of his military service, but also because of his desire to create a safe place to build his life and incorporate his extended family — particularly his mother, whose disabilities, along with his current home's non-age-friendly setup, make it difficult for her to visit him.
"This home gives me the chance to have a better relationship with my kids, grandkids and mom, as I've never really had a home to create happy family memories," Moody said. "It will create a comfortable place for us all, even if it's just for a family dinner."
All supplies for the project were donated by the The Home Depot Foundation, which also provided volunteer support for the renovation.
"Improving the lives of our veterans, who have given so much to make sure we all have a safe place to live, is important to The Home Depot Foundation. We're excited to honor Walter and see him move into his new home with his family and enjoy it for years to come," said Heather Prill, senior manager national partnerships at The Home Depot Foundation.
About the design challenge
The Re-defining Home: Home Today, Home Tomorrow competition challenged architects and designers to create new standards in housing design so people can stay in their home as they travel through various life stages: entering the workforce; getting married; having a family; sending kids to college; becoming a grandparent; following personal passions with new careers and hobbies; and considering retirement. The goal of the design challenge was to generate universal design solutions and build an attractive, adaptable and affordable home of the future that speaks to and showcases livability by promoting both aesthetically and functionally appealing designs for better living. Collaborators include AARP, AARP Foundation, Home Matters, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation and the The Home Depot Foundation, along with media support from Dwell and AARP Bulletin. Additionally, 34 competition partners supported the design challenge, including lead competition partner AIA San Francisco.
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SOURCE Home Matters