Housing program receives grant

Elk County's planning department recently received a grant totaling $138,000 from the state Department of Community and Economic Development [DCED] for home accessibility modifications."The Pennsylvania Accessible Housing Program (through DCED) and the Northern Tier Access Grant Program [NTAG] are two very important programs that are utilized to assist local residents in maintaining a home base in lieu of entering a care facility by modifying their homes to make them handicap accessible," said Richard Gavazzi, housing specialist for Elk County. "The programs are a cooperative effort among the counties of Elk, Cameron, McKean and Potter that has been a proven success since its inception."The County of Elk, as administering agent of the program, has recently procured through the PAHP $138,000 which will continue to provide home accessibility modifications to the numerous residents who need such assistance pending eligibility requirements."As outlined in the revised budget request, $116,350 is specifically requested for accessibility renovations."It is anticipated that eight to 10 projects can be completed at an average cost of $12,000 per accessibility modification," Gavazzi said. "The most common renovations would include bathroom modifications, handicap accessible ramps and widening of doorways."Such renovations will remove architectural barriers within the home."The remaining funds will reportedly be utilized for administration costs, professional services, and an independent audit required by the program.