Older adults in face masks receive a grocery delivery

Covid-19 RECAPP

Review of Equitable Community-based Aging Policies and Practices

The Joint Center for Housing Studies and The Hastings Center are partnering to explore lessons learned during the pandemic about supporting older adults dwelling in the community. Our COVID RECAPP project will identify housing-focused policies and practices developed by housing providers, advocates, government agencies, and older adults themselves to address a range of needs that arose during or were exacerbated by the pandemic, including loneliness; disruptions in access to food, supportive services, and healthcare; and challenges with housing affordability, safety, and accessibility.

Prior to the pandemic, both the Joint Center for Housing Studies and The Hastings Center published research exploring gaps in the system supporting middle- and lower-income older adults living in the community (what some term “aging in place”), particularly regarding the availability of affordable, accessible housing linked to services, the high cost of in-home supports and pressures on family caregivers, and the need for robust community infrastructure to help people maintain independence as they age. The pandemic has stress-tested a system that was already inadequate to meeting the needs of older adults, making plain shortfalls and deep disparities in access to housing and services.

Social isolation, already a concern for many older people, intensified for many under stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies...  

Read more

RECAPP is funded by a generous grant from RRF Foundation for Aging.  


Planning for the Extraordinary Requires Close Attention to the Ordinary: 2Life Communities’ Efforts to Protect Low-Income Older Adults During the Pandemic

Within the first few months of the pandemic, news reports began to describe the serious impacts of the coronavirus on older adults, especially those living in congregate settings. As the reality of the pandemic sank in, a nonprofit housing organization operating in the Boston area, 2Life Communities, was in overdrive implementing steps to safeguard the health and safety of its low-income residents and staff. This exploration of 2Life Communities profiles an institutional effort, outside the health care system, to meet the COVID-19 challenge.


Team Members

Chris Herbert

Headshot of Chris Herbert.Chris Herbert is Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has extensive experience conducting research related to housing policy, particularly homeownership. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac.


Jennifer Molinsky

Jennifer MolinskyJennifer Molinsky is Project Director of the Housing an Aging Society Program at the Center. Her current research projects focus on equitable access to livable communities, multigenerational housing, and the effect of housing and household configuration on older adults’ health. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging.

Nancy Berlinger

Nancy BerlingerNancy Berlinger is a Research Scholar at The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization focused on bioethics. A key area of Nancy’s work focuses on the ethical and societal challenges arising from population aging. She was editor of special edition of The Hastings Center’s journal, What Makes a Good Life in Late Life? and has written on dementia and ethics. 

Bailey Hu

Bailey HuBailey Hu is a Research Assistant at the Center working on projects related to housing and older adults. Prior to joining the Center, she was a fellow at the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development and an intern for City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George. Her interests include policy evaluation and the unequal impacts of residential displacement.

Network Members

Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, City of Toronto
Tufts University
Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, City of Toronto
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Rutgers University School of Social Work
Center for Healthy Aging at The New York Academy of Medicine
Executive Office of Elder Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Wayne State University School of Social Work
LeadingAge California
United Community Housing Coalition
Joint Center for Housing Studies
2Life Communities
Wellesley Institute
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Fordham University