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Secretary of Aging Announces New Affordable Housing for Older Adults in Lackawanna County

03/15/2024

Governor Shapiro's 2024-2025 proposed budget creates opportunities for innovative and affordable housing for older adults across the Commonwealth.

Dunmore, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich was on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking of Bucktown Center – a new four-story, 40-unit senior apartment community that will help address the critical need in Lackawanna County for quality, affordable housing for older adults.

"When we see places like Bucktown Center come into fruition thanks to great community partnerships, we see people who understand and care about what older adults really need. This community will offer soon-to-be residents a safe space to live in a community setting of their choice while having a new place to call home," said Secretary Kavulich. "The Department of Aging appreciates Governor Josh Shapiro's recognition of the need for adequate, affordable housing, and the funding commitment in his proposed budget that would create opportunities for older adults who desire reasonable housing."

To support the creation of more senior housing options in communities across Pennsylvania, the Department of Aging is requesting a $5.2 million investment in Governor Josh Shapiro's 2024-2025 proposed budget. The funding would help the 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) representing all 67 counties in the Commonwealth to pursue and build upon innovative housing solution models such as the Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) program, the Shared Housing and Resource Exchange (SHARE) program and the Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) program, or partner with other local organizations on other community-based initiatives. For the Bucktown project, the Lackawanna County AAA contributed matching funding.

While developing Aging Our Way, PA – the state master plan for older Pennsylvanians that will help transform service delivery to create the age-friendly Commonwealth that all residents deserve now and in the future – the Department and the AAAs held listening sessions in every county for public input on the plan. Fifty-four percent of older adult attendees indicated affordability around housing and property taxes as issues that impact their ability to age in place.

"Older adults have told us in every community they need better housing options, they need help finding affordable places to live when they are pushed out of their homes, and they need help maintaining their homes," said Secretary Kavulich. "Thanks to Governor Shapiro, we have an opportunity to assist older adults who have worked hard and saved to retire by investing in more housing choices that would keep them from having to seek a more costly service intervention."

Housing is one of the eight domains of livability created by the World Health Organization and adapted for the United States by AARP and provided the basis for the Aging Our Way, PA plan. The Department of Aging is also requesting an $11.7 million investment in Governor Shapiro's budget proposal to begin the implementation portions of the plan.

Learn more about Aging Our Way, PA along with the housing programs and other services offered by the Department on its website and its Facebook page.   

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