Located at the University of Southern California Andrus Gerontology Center, NRCSHHM promotes aging in place, independent living, for frail elderly and disability, with home modification and supportive housing, for successful aging, long-term care, and elder-friendly communities. Through home modification research, policy analysis, training, education, technical assistance to promote home modification to adapting environment, independent living, with handrails, lever door handles, grab bars, hand-held shower.

HOME MODIFICATION refers to converting or adapting the environment to make tasks easier, reduce accidents, and support independent living. Examples of home modification include:

  • Lever door handles that operate easily with a push
  • Handrails on both sides of staircase and outside steps
  • Ramps for accessible entry and exit
  • Walk-in shower
  • Grab bars in the shower, by the toilet, and by the tub
  • Hand-held, flexible shower head
  • Lever-handed faucets that are easy to turn on and off
  • Sliding shelves and lazy susan in corner cabinet
  • C or D ring handles on cabinet doors and drawers for easy gripping


SUPPORTIVE HOUSING refers to both service programs and housing settings that target semi-independent elderly who need assistance with daily activities.


  • Many persons are living in older structures that are deteriorating to the point that they are hazardous and contribute to the falls and injuries.
  • Home modification and repair can help prevent accidents and falls. Research by the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that one-third of home accidents can be prevented by modification and repair.
  • Modification to the home environment can be a key factor in increasing the likelihood of older persons remaining independent in their homes and active in their communities as long as they desire.
  • Home modifications can enhance comfort, increase safety, prevent injuries, and facilitate ongoing access to community social, recreational, and supportive activities and services.
  • Removing barriers and safety hazards also help alleviate the stress associated with reduced physical capabilities as people age.



The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification (NRCSHHM) is headquartered at the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center at University of Southern California, funded by The Archstone Foundation and The California Endowment.

The Center's mission is to make supportive housing and home modification a more integral component of successful aging, long-term care, preventive health, and the development of elder-friendly communities. The Center offers a vision for the future as well as practical strategies and materials for policymakers, practitioners, consumers, manufacturers, suppliers, and researchers.

Our five goals are to:

  1. promote aging in place for frail elderly and persons aging with a disability;
  2. increase the ability of states, communities, the private sector and service providers to integrate supportive housing and home modifications within existing housing, health and social service systems;
  3. maximize single family and multi-unit housing as a long-term care resource;
  4. equip families and individuals with the knowledge to plan for their housing, health and supportive service needs; and
  5. to influence developers and contractors to build accessible and supportive housing that promotes healthy, independent living as well as community-based care systems, housing programs, and health services organizations.


The Center works closely with groups involved in supportive housing and home modification and a National Advisory Committee to accomplish four objectives that are to provide:

  • Applied Research, Evaluation and Policy Analysis
    a knowledge base for practical applications

  • Training and Education
    Internet courses, workshops, conferences, exhibits

  • Technical Assistance
    policy updates, national teleconferences, advisement, local home modification coalitions

  • Information Clearinghouse
    reports, guidebooks, newsletters and fact sheets that provide objective information


Back Row from Left to Right: Jon Pynoos, Maria Henke, Tridib Banerjee, Marvin Schachter, Jon Sanford, Laura Gitlin, Stephen M. Golant, Richard Duncan, Julie Overton.
Front Row from Left to Right: Jim Callahan, Christy Nishita, Phoebe S. Libieg, Don Redfoot.


Name Title Email
Director jpynoos@aol.com
Associate rc_duncan@ncsu.edu
Associate overtonusc@aol.com
Manager mhenke@usc.edu
Associate homemods@usc.edu
Policy Analyst liebig@usc.edu
Community Outreach somens@usc.edu
Multimedia Producer misiasze@usc.edu
Programmer jalejand@usc.edu
Graphic/Web Designer ajafaria@usc.edu
Programmer fblalock@usc.edu
Research Assistant cnishita@usc.edu
Research Assistant kelly@usc.edu
Program Specialist sabata@usc.edu