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Advancing Housing & Health Equity for Older Adults

The Covid-19 RECAPP Report: Advancing Housing & Health Equity for Older Adults: Pandemic Innovations and Policy Ideas

Report Summary and Recommendations

This grant-funded collaborative research led by Nancy Berlinger of The Hastings Center and Jennifer Molinsky, director of the Housing an Aging Society program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard, University, aimed to identify and analyze promising practices and policy ideas from housing-focused responses to older adults’ needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Following the October 2022 release of their full report and recommendations synthesizing research insights to improve housing and housing-related supports going forward, The Hastings Center and the Joint Center for Housing Studies co-produced a series of four webinars to explore study insights and recommendations. The webinars are described and linked below, followed by selected resources shared by participants and audience members during these sessions.

Cosponsor for the series: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

1. Housing & Health Equity for Older Adults: Findings from the COVID-19 RECAPP Report

This is the first in the four-part series.

In addition to its devastating effects on health and mortality, the COVID-19 pandemic produced a complex and interconnected set of social challenges across the US. Older adults living in the community faced social isolation and disruptions in access to food, medical care, and other goods and services during stay-at-home orders. In response, organizations that support older people—housing and service providers, community organizations, government agencies, and others—improvised solutions to address these challenges.

Webinar 1 Speakers:
Robin Lipson, Deputy Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Jennifer Molinsky, Project Director, JCHS Housing an Aging Society Program; Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Tam Perry, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Wayne State University
Lauren Taylor, Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner; Assistant Professor, NYU Langone School of Medicine

Nancy Berlinger, Research Scholar, The Hastings Center, moderator

2. Learning from Aging in Place Initiatives

This is the second of the four-part series.

In the Covid moment, community-based initiatives throughout the United States pivoted to meet the needs of older adults at home. This virtual event explored the findings of a new report, a collaboration between The Hastings Center and the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, focusing on perspectives and lessons from diverse initiatives and networks supporting aging in place.

Webinar 2 Speakers:
Elana Kieffer, Director, Center for Healthy Aging, New York Academy of Medicine
Kathy Pointer, Director, Kingdom Care Senior Village
Chris Reeder-Young, Director of Research & Policy, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis
Julia Stoumbos, Program Director, Aging in Place, The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation

Nancy Berlinger, Research Scholar, The Hastings Center, moderator

3. Helping Older Americans during the Pandemic

This is the third in the four-part series

This event explored some of the key findings in Advancing Housing and Health Equity for Older Adults: Pandemic Innovations and Policy Ideas, a collaboration with The Hastings Center. Panelists share new research and examples of how service coordinators leveraged community resources and their own creativity to ensure older adults remained safe during the pandemic.

Webinar 3 Speakers:
Jennifer Molinsky, Project Director, Housing an Aging Society Program, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Samara Scheckler, Research Associate, Joint Center for Housing Studies
Amy Schectman, President and CEO, 2Life Communities

4. Toward New Narratives about Aging in Place

This is the fourth of the four-part series.

Most older Americans want to “age in place,” yet many lack the “place” they need. Land use restrictions or local resistance to affordable, accessible homes stymie efforts to build places that work for people as they age or who have disabilities. Private-market options geared to wealthy adults are not the solution for the typical, moderate-income older American. How do we build consensus around investing in the “place” in aging in place and recognize affordable, accessible homes as community assets?

Webinar 4 Speakers:
Andrew Clark, Professor, School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Greater Manchester 
Steven Lovci, Vice President, Capital Projects and Construction, Phipps Houses, New York City
Paul McGarry, Assistant Director, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Head, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub
Jennifer Molinsky, Director, Housing an Aging Society Program, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University

Moderator: Nancy Berlinger, Research Scholar, The Hastings Center 


Covid-19 RECAPP Report:

Understanding the Pandemic and Senior Housing Equity, HUD User:

NYCHA Connected Communities Guidebook:

NYCHA White Paper:

NYCHA Open Space Master Plans:


Report Summary and Key Recommendations:

What Is Aging in Place? Confusions and Contradictions abstract and summary:

What Is Aging in Place? Confusions and Contradictions:

Paul McGarry’s Top 10 Tips for Age Friendly Communities:

Can dementia-friendly initiatives improve people’s lives?:

Hastings Center Bioethics for Aging Societies:

Centre for Ageing Better photo library:

Mark Hammond A Design for Life Presentation:

Manchester School of Architecture A Design for Life:

NYC Housing Authority Connected Communities Guidebook:

More on “dementia and place,” with studies from UK, Europe, Australia:

Greater Manchester framework:

Age-friendly homes Manchester report:

Greater Manchester Ageing Site:

Alternative Age-friendly Handbook: