Housing Needs of Grandparent Caregivers: Grandparent, Youth, and Professional Perspectives

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This qualitative study examined the housing needs of grandparent caregivers and the youth in their care in New York State. Nine focus groups were conducted separately with grandparent caregivers (n = 46) and youth (n = 34), and interviews were conducted with key informants (n = 17) knowledgeable about housing and issues. Housing needs of greatest priority, contextual differences, and potential barriers to securing housing and social services were identified. Key themes indicated that housing challenges stem from four problem domains: the experience of poverty, which creates affordability challenges that trap grandparent caregivers and their grandchildren in unsuitable homes and unsafe neighborhoods; physical challenges of aging grandparents, which require specific housing accommodations; changes in family composition when taking in grandchildren, which necessitate moving out of prior accommodations or changing housing plans due to regulatory issues; and obstacles to obtaining needed benefits, including a lack of information, burdensome application processes, ineligibility, and a shortage of resources. These issues are discussed with implications for policy and practice.



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