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NeighborWorks hosts ECHO placement event at Simplex Homes

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania was joined by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich, the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging, the Luzerne County Area Agency on Aging, Johnson College and Simplex Homes to host a placement event to celebrate the placement of two ECHO units in Lackawanna County. The event also highlighted the upcoming placement of a unit in Wayne County within the next three to four weeks.

The event took place at Simplex Homes, where attendees heard remarks from Jesse Ergott, President & CEO of NeighborWorks Northeastern PA; Jason Kavulich, the State Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; Dr. Katie Leonard, President of Johnson College, Dave Bonillo, President & CEO of Simplex Homes; and Mary Endrusick, Aging in Place Manager at NeighborWorks. They spoke on the importance of the ECHO program and the partnerships that allowed the program to happen. Attendees also had the opportunity to view and tour three of the units in varying states of completion – including a fully completed unit.

Through a grant awarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Inc. through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA): NeighborWorks, the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging and the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging have been given the opportunity provide two units to Lackawanna County older adults and one unit to Wayne County older adults. ECHO units are small, separate, manufactured residences that are temporarily placed on the property of an older adult’s friend or family member, maintaining independence for the older adult while the property owner is still able to provide caregiving to ensure the safety of the older adult is maintained.

Applications are being taken for four additional units in Lackawanna County, and one unit in Luzerne/Wyoming Counties. Interested parties can access the application and Frequently Asked Questions on our website here. Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria: host property located in relevant county in PA; older adult income at or below 80% area median income; older adult must be able to live independently but require occasional caregiver assistance; older adult must be agreeable to paying affordable rent.

The units were designed by students at Johnson College, with build and placement provided by Simplex Homes.

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