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06/28/2018

Wolf Administration Celebrates First Elder Cottage in Pennsylvania

DuBois, 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.

“The 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 deserve.”  

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.

While 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.

Mature 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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Drew Wilburne, 717-705-3702

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