Presbyterian Senior Services: Grandparent Family Apartments

Grandparent Family Apartments provides housing and supportive services to 50 low-income families of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. The emergence of this new family structure, and the sharp rise of families self identifying as Grandparent Families, highlighted a shortage in supportive housing that meets the needs of two distinct populations: low-income senior citizens, and children under 18. In 2004, several non-profits partnered with the NYC Housing Authority to undertake a new building project that would provide them safe, affordable housing.

Goshow Architects designed the new building, the first public housing of its kind in NY State, to address the needs of the residents and community. The new six-story structure includes an activity center, a “smart” technology resource center, a ‘Green’ roof garden, and 5,000 sf of commercial units at street level. Additional common space includes a lobby, two community rooms, a library, several rooms for after school activities and services, and offices for social service staff. Each apartment features fully-equipped kitchens, and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The grandparents and their grandchildren were active participants in the design of the building, providing information about the challenges inherent to this family dynamic, and how they use their homes and community spaces, which helped our designers prioritize the onsite resources needed to build this community.

The success of this socially-conscious, community-based building project has been documented on CBS’s 60 Minutes (click to view), and the 2009 film “Grandmother to Grandmother.”