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Design for Aging Committee

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



Affordable Housing with Services—The Art of Design Meets the Art of Aging

While research suggests growth in the urban elder population, there is a large unmet need for affordable housing that promotes independent living in a safe environment while avoiding institutionalization. Nancy Bastian AIA, will present her experience with the nuances of planning, designing and implementing such a project in urban Philadelphia called NewCourtland. This is a session recently featured at the National Environments for Aging Conference.

NewCourtland’s leadership envisioned a move from a nursing home dominated business model to one where affordable, independent housing is combined with supportive services, such as the PACE model (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), allowing the organization to reach deeper into the neighborhoods where the real need exists for seniors aging in place.

This presentation will speak to the design of the affordable housing-with-services model, describing the various pieces required to successfully create a healthy, supportive environment for independent living. This is accomplished through a combination of the following:

  • Design of the living unit, either through renovations or new construction, in ways to support independent living as one ages and becomes more frail;
  • Connecting residents to a PACE model of service which provides for residents’ medical and social needs;
  • Transportation to link residents with their daily service needs.

Finally, the session will note where this new vision is heading for NewCourtland and seniors in Philadelphia, with a conversation about what lessons have been learned so far, and what is coming next.

Nancy Bastian AIA, is a partner at Cecil Baker + Partners in Philadelphia and serves as co-chair of the AIA Philadelphia Housing Committee. Nancy’s extensive experience in multi-family housing of all types include Jannie’s Place, a 29-unit apartment building for the People’s Emergency Center in West Philadelphia, and for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Residence Hall at Northern Home for Children in Philadelphia, which provides transitional housing for young women who have aged out of the foster care system who also have small children. She has presented multiple workshops on accessible housing and design, detailing ways in which accessible housing can be thoughtfully reconsidered to obtain maximum usefulness for residents.

For those who qualify, 1.5 LUs are available

To learn more about the Design for Aging Committee, visit