News from Better Housing
Notes from the Director
Affordable Homes Have Dividends for the Community
Carla Gray and Jan Schlick found a home and a calling with the help of Better Housing. A commitment to providing affordable housing allows Carla and Jan to have a safe and appropriate home at Fountain Manor. Residents who live in the Caroline apartments, along with Juniper Manor in Trumansburg and Newfield Garden in Newfield pay on a sliding scale based on income and age.
For individuals with disabilities, home ownership is often not an appropriate choice. Better Housing provides options that don’t consume a disproportionate portion of their budget. Without having to worry about their finances, health, and safety, Carla and Jan are free to give back to their community. “You’ve got to do something or you get bored,” Carla said. “If you sit at home, you just feel sorry for yourself.” Both are auxiliary members and fundraisers for the fire department, and they frequently pick up and deliver for the Caroline Food Pantry. “People ask me, ‘when do you sit down?’” Jan responds, “We don’t. We just enjoy it.”
If you know someone who is in need of affordable housing, and whose circumstances may make him or her eligible, contact Better Housing. We’re here to help.
—John A. Spence, Executive Director, July 2011
Help Is Needed Around the Corner
There have been so many tragedies recently around the world. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, last year’s earthquake in Haiti, before that Katrina. And in each case the typical American’s response has been: “What can I do to help?” While these tragedies impress us with their scale, we here at Better Housing keep in mind that we can make a real difference right here, as Alice and Elton’s story so clearly conveys. They were helped by our home repair program, which focuses on helping senior and disabled homeowners of modest means with housing issues involving health and safety concerns. If you are among the folks who are inclined to ask “How can I help?”, Better Housing is currently seeking to increase our skilled volunteer pool in order to provide help to more couples like Elton and Alice.
The home repair program is just one of several programs that Better Housing provides to the rural, local residents of Tompkins County. Losing your home, or losing your independence, is painful whether due to a natural catastrophe or because you just can’t afford to make needed repairs. If you’re interested in lifting a hand to help call Andy at 273-2187, extension 206, and ask about our volunteer opportunities.
– John A. Spence, Executive Director, May 2011