Senior housing in Małopolska region

The report includes a range of information about housing conditions, senior housing and designing public space for people aged 60+ in Małopolska region.

In addition, the publication includes examples from Poland and the world of dealing with the problem of aging societies in the context of senior housing.

Report contains data about senior housing, current housing conditions and needs, identify problems, challenges and system solutions for senior housing / construction in Małopolska region.

The study was carried out by the Regional Development Observatory of the Małopolska Region.

Here we have a shortcut and the most important conclusions based on the study.


The report is a comprehensive study systematizing the situation of elderly people in the context of current housing, senior housing, space and public transport conditions. Research was done among municipalities, housing associations and individual respondents.

The number of elderly over 60 in Małopolska was 24% in total population at the end of 2021. The largest number of seniors lived in Kraków and Tarnów cities, also in Olkusz and Chrzanów districts.

The housing conditions for seniors are varied in terms of place of residence (urban areas – rural areas) or type of construction (new – old). For example living in the countryside could be more favorable because of greenery, low buildings but is far from facilities like health, shopping center.

Old-fashion multi-family housing is characterized by outdated construction technology and the related architectural barriers. However this kind of property was usually designed as a complex with available green areas and commercial facilities. New architecture is more senior-friendly with elevators, handrails and handles but usually without a common space.

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Research results

Housing construction for seniors topic is now more popular than years ago, both among seniors, their children, grandchildren, as well as authorities. So far, many initiatives, programs or theoretical concepts of helping the elderly have been created.

However, most communities in Małopolska region don’t have any special strategies or programs devoted to senior policy. Usually the policy is implemented as part of social consultations. Apart from communities there are some organizations supporting seniors living in their own homes, providing such systems as tele-care.

Authorities indicated usual occurrence of nursing homes in their communities, but none of residential buildings with special architectural amenities for seniors. There are private buildings for elderly, protected flats or day care facilities for seniors in few communities.

Some investments improving the usability of buildings, as equipping them with elevators or “stop stations” in staircases, are carried out by housing associations. Luckily seniors are often included in the public transport planning, so it’s standard is better accessible to elderly people.

senior housing


  • The principles of universal design in common spaces and apartments should be reflected in national acts and guidelines.
  • Designing and building in accordance with the theory of the therapeutic environment or all ages design.
  • Making people, such as activists responsible for housing policy, social security at the local and central government, commercial entities, real estate market, more aware for seniors needs.
  • Promoting and expanding knowledge about modern senior housing seniors by communes and non-governmental organizations
  • Developing cooperation between communes, developers, housing associations and NGO’s in housing standards, creating a kind of housing exchange bank for seniors, renting flats from developers by communities.
  • Creating multi-generational houses / housing estates (families with children, students, seniors, single people), with favorable environment, flexible and properly adapted infrastructure for the elderly and people with disabilities.
  • Preparing diversified housing offers for seniors: assisted housing, housing for a person with disabilities, housing for a family, additional care services, co-financing.
  • Information about senior’s apartments, common space in apartment’s building, public space, housing condition, main problems, should be collected by communes or housing associations.
  • Developing various forms of tele-care and tele-medicine, improving the comfort of seniors in their place of residence.
  • Extension of new elevators or balconies should be co-financed.
  • Developing public transport especially in rural areas.


The full report  is available in polish language version.

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