PA – Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne attended
and spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Pennsylvania’s first Elder Cottage
Housing Opportunity (ECHO) program in Clearfield County. Elder cottages are
small, separate, manufactured residences that are temporarily placed in the
side or rear yard of a host family for an older adult. ECHO aims to serve
adults 60 years of age and older with incomes below 50% of the area median
income who prefer to age in place. A host family is required to be related by
blood or marriage to the senior they will host and agree to place the cottage
on their property.
passionate pursuit of leaders in Clearfield County to identify safe, affordable
housing options for its residents is indicative of the Wolf Administration’s
commitment think creatively and work collaboratively,” said Secretary Osborne. “Because of their efforts, the first elder
cottage in the state now exists in Sandy Township, a family can provide support
while remaining in close proximity to their loved one, and an older
Pennsylvanian can age in place with the independence, dignity, and respect they
Elder cottages allow privacy for the
senior and the host family while simultaneously providing accessibility for
both parties when necessary. Further, the cottages are more cost effective for
both the senior and host family and give the older adult an option to avoid
premature admission into a long-term care facility.
Pennsylvania has one of the highest percentages of elderly in the US, in 2014
Clearfield County exceeded the state averages for both percent of population
over 65 and percent of population over 80, indicating a clear need for
increased housing options. The innovative program was suggested to township
supervisors by the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging last year as an
alternative housing option for seniors whose families were considering nursing
home placement for their loved ones.
Resources Foundation (MRF), a nonprofit affiliate of the Clearfield County AAA,
will own and rent the cottages to seniors at a cost of 30% of their income. MRF
will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep, which includes monthly
inspections and any necessary repairs. Additionally, when the family or senior
no longer require use of the cottage, MRF will remove and relocate it to
another host family.
To learn more about the Clearfield County
AAA’s partnership with ECHO Housing, click here. To
learn more about the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, visit aging.pa.gov.
CONTACT: Drew Wilburne,