by: Julie Dunphy
Reposted from PAHomePage WBRE/WYOU
SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An affordable housing program for older residents is growing in Lackawanna County. Elder Cottages have already made a huge impact on the lives of two local families.
Applications are now open for seven more elder cottages. The homes are a great way to allow your aging mother or father to live in their own space, keep their independence, but be close by.
Just how close? Well, the home would be placed in your yard
“They’re well designed and they’re really spacious inside,” said Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich.
The Elder Cottage is handicap appropriate and will be equipped with a full bathroom, washer and dryer, and full kitchen.
“To us home matters, meeting people where they’re at matters,” said Aging in Place Coordinator Mary Endrusick.
The homes are growing in popularity in Pennsylvania. They are an affordable housing option, meaning that the resident will pay no more than 30% of their income on rent.
So far, there are two successful Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) units in Lackawanna County.
“One of the things that I heard in working with the one of the older adults, was that she wouldn’t be able to be part of watching, and being part of her grandchildren growing up, had it not been for the ECHO unit,” said Endrusick.
Debbie Morton lived out of state. Now, she lives in her son’s front yard and is able to help with her grandchildren.
The program has been slowly growing in the Keystone State since 2017.
Monday, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania announced funding has been secured for several additional units. A project Kavulich has been involved in from the beginning.
“The work that’s been done here is going to benefit people in all of the 52 Area Agencies on Aging placement areas,” Kavulich explained.
The ECHO is made possible through a community partnership.
The Lackawanna Area Agency on Aging has teamed up with NeighborWorks, Johnson College, Simplex Homes, as well as a few other nonprofits.
“This is not something one system can do this is something that a community have to do to get get it across the finish line,” Kavulich said.
When the cottage is no longer needed, it will be removed and relocated to the next family.
This temporary home is looking to make a lasting impact in the community.
If this is something your family could benefit from, Lackawanna County residents can apply. They are also expanding the program to Luzerne and Wayne Counties.