The Norwegian state housing bank offers economic subsidies to cooperatives undertaking after installment of elevators. The subsidy constitutes ca 50 percent of the total costs of such an installment, provided that certain conditions are met. The political motivation for this subsidy is to reduce the likelihood that residents in condos without elevators will have to move should they suffer from reduced mobility, e.g. due to old age.

In this paper we estimate the economics of after installment of elevators both from the societal point of view and from the residents point of view. Elevators might enable residents to live in their own apartment even if their health deteriorates. This will have both monetary and non-monetary consequences. We focus on the monetary implications of such an installment. If people can reside in their home for a longer time period, the costs of public services might be reduced, also the likelihood that residents may suffer injuries associated with falls when climbing the stairs.

About 70.000 Norwegians at the age of 80 years and older live on the first floor or higher in a building without elevator. In this study, we estimate the potential economic savings from reduced need for public institutions, reduced traveling and time costs associated with provision of services to elderly residents, and expenditures associated with falls in stairs. Also, we estimate the potential economic value of after installation of elevator for the residents in question (as measured by changes in the market price of dwellings). Our findings will shed light on whether after installment of elevators is economically beneficial to the society and consequently: whether the subsidy of a yearly 9 million EUR is economically justifiable from the societal point of view.