Work will focus on critical repairs, mobility and weatherization for senior homeowners
COOKEVILLE — Putnam County Habitat for Humanity recently announced the launch of an Aging in Place program for senior homeowners. The new initiative will work with 55 qualifying local seniors over the next three years, providing critical repairs, mobility modifications and weatherization enhancements to help them live in their homes longer and retain their independence.
Putnam County Habitat is currently taking referrals from approximately 12 area agencies that serve low-income seniors in Putnam and Overton counties. PCHFH will be working with local contractors and sub-contractors to complete some of the work, while volunteer repair teams will be working on other types of repairs, such as weatherization, building ramps and other accessibility issues. Habitat will be holding informational meetings for volunteers on Oct. 16 at 5:30 pm at the Habitat Office, 728 E. 15thSt., Cookeville, and on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at Bank of Overton County, 1477 W. Main St., Livingston.
“Since 1995, Putnam County Habitat has helped 79 families buy their first homes with affordable Habitat mortgages. Now, we want to expand our mission to help senior homeowners remain in their homes and ‘age in place’ with the comfort and dignity they deserve,” said Pam Ealey, executive director of Putnam County Habitat for Humanity. “Hundreds of local seniors are in need of critical repairs and mobility modifications, and we hope that this initial service goal of 55 seniors is just the beginning. Adding these additional services helps get us one step closer to Habitat’s vision – a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
This initiative is part of a statewide effort among multiple Habitat offices to expand their services and work with senior homeowners in their respective communities. In Tennessee, 13 percent of the population are seniors, with 27 percent of those living alone (census.gov). The median household income for a Tennessee senior is $32,702, with 29 percent earning less than $20,000 and 8 percent bringing in less than $10,000, which makes it difficult for seniors to maintain their homes and make the repairs necessary to keep their homes safe and accessible (census.gov ACS).
The funding for this project was provided through a grant awarded by the Davidson County Chancery Court, Part III from the SeniorTrust/ElderTrust settlement (Case No. 11-1548-III) and through a contract administered by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
For more information about Putnam County Habitat for Humanity’s Aging in Place program, call 931-528-1711 or visit www.pchabitat.org.
About Putnam County Habitat for Humanity
Putnam County HFH constructs and sells homes to qualified low-income families. To learn how to support the Christian ministry through financial gifts and volunteer time, call Pam Ealey at 528-1711 ext. 1. PCHFH is a non-profit Christian housing ministry that builds simple, decent and affordable homes in partnership with God and families in need. PCHFH strives to rid Putnam County of substandard housing and homelessness.
About the Senior Trust/Elder Trust grant
Pursuant to the settlement of two related Chancery Court cases in Davidson County, Tennessee, approximately $36 million in funding is being granted to six different organizations in the State for the purposes of implementing statewide initiatives designed to make lives better for older Tennesseans. Through the efforts of the Court and a group of five philanthropic organizations who provided their expertise, a process was developed to accept and then carefully vet statewide proposals in four specific areas for innovation, ability to implement, and sustainability. The process took almost two years to complete.
The four areas were selected based upon statewide need and a history of limited resources. They are:
Senior Legal Assistance
Senior Affordable Housing
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (“TCAD”) is overseeing the administration of the grants. Because of the importance of this effort for older Tennesseans, TCAD and the five philanthropic organizations involved in the distribution of the grants all committed to continuing to work (for no compensation) and oversee these grants so that they achieve their overall purpose.