The GrandFamilies House: A Home for Parenting Grandparents and Their Grandchildren

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 0.0 of 5 stars (0 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:

The first of its kind in the nation, the GrandFamilies House is a housing facility in Boston targeted at low-income grandparents who are their grandchildren's primary caregivers.

For a variety of reasons, the number of children being raised by grandparents has been rising dramatically in recent decades, yet there has been little in terms of public assistance specifically for low-income people in this situation. To address this problem, three organizations in the Boston area (Boston Aging Concerns-Young and Old United, the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development, and the YWCA) banded together.

After several years' planning and extensive renovations, an old nursing home was transformed into a 27-unit facility, designed with the needs of older people and children in mind. For example, there are grab-bars in the bathrooms and safety covers on the electrical outlets. A playground in the rear is situated within easy view of caregivers. A live-in manager is available for emergencies and other needs. A Resident Services Coordinator organizes meetings, transportation, and other services.

A number of services are offered in the basement of the building administered by the Boston YWCA, ranging from a preschool and after-school care for the children, to exercise and parenting classes for the grandparents. Microsoft donated equipment and volunteers for a computer lab. A van funded by the Mellon Trust is available for trips and errands.

A key to the successful launch was a new program of special section 8 rental vouchers created by both the State of Massachusetts and the city of Boston just for grandparents raising grandchildren. The rent subsidies also allow other parenting grandparents to live in affordable housing in the nearby community. Pro-bono attorneys helped put together other public and private financing for the project, which included low-income housing tax credits for lenders.

The GrandFamilies House has drawn media attention, and has received inquiries and visits from social organizations from various parts of the country. "Grandfamilies is definitely a model for other communities to emulate," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino when the project opened in the fall of 1998.

For more information, contact:

Janet Van Zandt
Executive Director
Boston Aging Concerns-Young and Old United
67 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-266-2257, ext. 223

Children's Bureau Express Volume 2, Number 2
Related Topics
Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):

Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Hope (FL / 16 / F)
Hope is a beautiful child. She is smart and independent and very mature for her age. Hope makes friends easily and she loves hanging out with friends, playing video games and... [more]
Parent Profiles
We are so excited to become first time parents! We have been married for five years and cannot wait to bring home our bundle of joy! Thank you so much for considering us to raise... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: