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1     Strategic Framework                                                                         

2     History and Community Profile                                                        

3     Process for Developing the Plan                                                      

4     Community Assessment, Focus Areas, Goals, Strategies 

              4.1       Homes                                                                                    

              4.2       Mobility                                                                                     

              4.3       Social Connections                                                                 

              4.4       Communications

5     Community Strengths                                                                        

6     Future Processes for Implementation    
 

4.1  Homes

 

One key finding was that the homes* people are living in may not fit their future. (*Homes refers to all types of places people live like condos, houses and apartments.) People want both, more choices and more information on resources that will help them stay in their homes.

 

  • Almost half of respondents (48%) expected they will have to move to another home as they grow older, 30% to a different home in the area and 18% to a home outside the area.

  • The statement, “I will need to modify my home to continue living here”, prompted 60% to say yes.

  • 91% said that a resource list of home repair and chore resources was important to them, but that information was lacking.

  • In response to the question, “Is your home warm enough in the winter?” 84% said yes; but an alarming 16% said no. Reasons cited were, the home not being well insulated for 62%, difficulty paying for fuel for 45% and the challenge of moving wood/pellets for 6%.

  • People also commented about the need for more choices: housing at a variety of price points including the middle class, in smaller one-level configurations, with a mix of ages, within walking distance of places they would like or need to go and provisions for accessory dwelling units.

 

Personal comments indicate that it is challenging to find affordable housing, and professional help for small house repairs, especially for home-owners with moderate or low incomes. “Need someone to call if the smoke alarm goes off and I can’t reach it to stop it and change the battery. Who to call?” “Its….becoming too much to maintain…..House repair, grounds....a tank of oil has gone from $162 to $940”. “I’d like to move out of my larger home and into an area where I can walk to the library.” 

 

Goal: Encourage options to allow older adults to age where they choose safely, warmly and comfortably.

 

Partner with Bath Housing (BH) to increase awareness of the “Comfortably Home” Aging in Place Program and resources like AARP “HomeFit” guide.

  • Activities: Program information distributed to all Steering committee members/organizations, to print and electronic media. Incorporate “Comfortably Home” program into AFLCK events, brainstorm other ways to support their outreach.

  • Metrics/Outcomes: Program materials distributed in Steering Committee pre-pandemic, Bath Area Senior Center (BASC) newsletter articles 11/2019 &11/2020, on-line info distribution, program staff participated in AFCLK event. Give support in other ways as identified. Support BHA research/exploration of how to expand to other income groups beyond those of moderate means.

  • Timeline: 2019 to 2024 (Program suspended periodically during pandemic)

 

Research and communicate about heating needs and resources. Explore expansion of heating resources with lower barriers to access.

  • Activities: Communicate survey findings on need, research existing heating resources and communicate about availability. Research “Wood Bank” program.

  • Metrics/Outcomes: Research & conversations with organizations/municipalities on heating assistance resources. (Interviews with Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and other organizations began Fall 2019). Educate public in print and on-line including BASC article on need August 2019; and on resources in January 2020. Ongoing research for additional heating resources including potential “Wood Bank” prototype. Volunteer recruitment and partnership development.

  • Timeline: 2019-2024
     

Educate about safety focused programs - Increase awareness & use of free “Sand Bucket” program. Research local availability of programs for smoke detector installation.

  • Activities: Communicate how to access free program for buckets of sand to reduce falls on outdoor steps. Research on free smoke detector programs in other places, costs and implementation targets. Education about what smoke detector installation programs may be available.

  • Metrics/Outcome: Bucket program article in senior center newsletter Nov. 2020, city website, other on-line listings. Increase of calls to Police and Sheriff’s departments for buckets.  Summary of findings on smoke detector program options with recommendations. Partnership development and volunteer recruitment to move forward locally.

  • Timeline: 2020-2022

 

Investigate development of “knox box” program for emergency responders to gain easy access to home via key in coded, locked exterior box.

  • Activities: research and briefing on program elements, viability for this region, discussions with fire, police and emergency responders, costs and implementation strategies. Volunteer recruitment, fundraising.

  • Metrics/Outcome: Information about what program entails, decision about whether to proceed with program design and implementation.

  • Timeline: 2021-2024

 

Research volunteer at home supports like “snow shovel” and “handy helper” brigades, evaluate viability.

  • Activities: Outreach to schools and existing programs. Research best practices, supervision and volunteers needed. Recommend options.

  • Metrics/Outcome: Assess best practices in nearby programs, create summary. Evaluate resources needed and potential utilization. Recommend options and potential implementation strategy. Recruit resources and volunteers.

  • Timeline: 2021-2024

 

Goal: Explore/promote development of more varied housing options which leverage existing resources and future opportunities, across the economic spectrum.

 

Research potential revenue generating options for owners of homes with extra space. Explore Short Term Rentals, Accessory Dwelling Units, etc. and related regulatory issues. Advocate for more small single level housing unit development.

  • Activities: Research Airbnb, Nesterly, Housematching program of Vermont, etc. Explore with local leaders the creation of additional small unit single floor housing, (especially for the middle class) and its inclusion in upcoming community projects. Advocate for regulatory and permitting changes needed.

  • Metrics/Outcome: Research brief prepared on revenue generating options in existing homes.  Communication plan for findings/recommendations/next steps. Promote inclusion of single level unit housing in community projects under consideration for a variety of income levels. Advocacy for ordinance/zoning changes needed.

  • Timeline: 2021-2024

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Action Plan

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