One of the North East Community Action Corp.’s most visible community initiatives is the low-income housing it administers throughout its 12-county service area. It gained a little more visibility this week when its head of housing development spoke at the national NeighborWorks America Training Institute in Atlanta.
Carla Potts, NECAC’s deputy director for housing development programs, served as a panelist and presenter Wednesday at the conference for NeighborWorks, according to a release from the social service agency. NeighborWorks is one of several housing development partners with NECAC and invited Potts to speak at the conference.
Housing development program administrators from across the nation attended the conference, and in so doing, they got to hear from Potts about how NECAC is addressing Northeast Missouri’s aging population and housing stock. She spoke on NECAC’s weatherization, energy efficiency and rehabilitation programs, which upgrade existing housing to allow seniors to stay in their homes.
“NECAC has concentrated on generating funding and innovative solutions to allow the senior to age in place in the home they may have lived in for a number of years,” Potts told the audience. “To do that, NECAC has looked at services that make the home more energy-efficient and (do) not make the senior choose between heating and eating.”
NECAC has worked to publicize its weatherization program, which upgrades energy efficiency measures in income-qualified clients’ homes. Clients looking for emergency energy assistance, which ran out particularly early this summer, often are directed to consider weatherization as a long-term solution. For families who don’t qualify for such services based on income, the agency points to energy audits and construction services.
While NECAC serves a generally rural population, Potts told the crowd at NeighborWorks that its solutions work in rural or urban areas.
“It doesn’t matter where you are,” she said. “Innovation and thinking outside the box can be done in any location.”