Detroit Today

Detroit's Displaced Seniors: Aging Together

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In Detroit, the displacement of seniors has grown significantly in the last two years as renewed interest in the city has accelerated. With that, MLive reporter and a contributor to the “Aging Together” series with WDET and Model D David Muller, and Assistant Professor at the Wayne State School of Social Work and member of the Senior Housing Displacement-Preservation Coalition Tam Perry join Laura and Darrell to examine the challenges faced by the aging population in Detroit and Metro Detroit.

Tam Perry has been looking at how to better serve the populations being displaced in Detroit. She’s a member of the Senior Housing Displacement-Preservation Coalition, and says her group meets regularly to discuss the ways that affordable housing options can be preserved for the city’s seniors.

“I think if we look at it as what we want the new Detroit to look like, there needs to be intergenerational exchanges and contributions,” says Perry.

The displacement of seniors is a kind of unintended consequence of development, and as the city continues to regain economic strength, it’s important to understand what happens to cities and their residents in the process. Muller and Perry join Darrell and Laura to discuss this issue as part of WDET’s “Aging Together” Series.

There are complexes around the city where some of these displaced seniors are being relocated, however there is no master plan. Therefore, it’s difficult to say whether or not these seniors won’t be uprooted again in the next year or two. “When you uproot someone, they are really reliant on knowing where services are,” Perry says, which is why outreach services and clear communication with seniors is so important.

Aging Together is a summer-long project between MLive Detroit, WDET 101.9FM Detroit and Model D Media that explores the issues of older adults in Detroit, Southeast Michigan and the state.