Housing expo coming April 14

Members of the Cameron and Elk Counties Local Housing Options Team [LHOT] have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming housing expo, the first of its kind offered by the group, on April 14 from noon to 6 p.m. at Central Hose Company along North Broad Street in Ridgway.The expo will showcase builders, contractors, realtors, financing mechanisms and services available to the seasoned homeowner, first-time homebuyer, landlords and renters."People aren't realizing that there are things out there that are affordable to them, things that they can get and it's about if you are a homeowner, here are your options and this expo will help with that, just to learn about things that are out there that you may not know about," said Sarah Grunthaner, PATH liaison for the Cameron/Elk Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program.Some areas of interest at the expo include Smart Rehab, energy efficiency, green building technology, home ownership counseling and home modification/rehabilitation."A lot of people with adjustable rate mortgages, their rates are going up and they don't quite know how they're going to afford it, and the public may not know some of the programs that are available," said Linda Thompson, Mental Health Program Specialist for the Cameron/Elk Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program.Local building contractors also will be available to discuss projects, from building a new home to small upgrades to an existing dwelling."I think it's a great outreach tool for us to reach the residents of the counties to provide very versatile options that are out there," said Richard Gavazzi, member of the Elk County Planning Department. "I think it's a great opportunity to meet with individuals and work with local vendors, businesses and so forth to see what's out there and what's available in terms of local services, direction or needs."LHOT, created in 2005, is calling out interested contractors, financial institutions, real estate agencies, landlords and service providers within the area to provide a vendor table at the housing expo. For more information, or if you are interested in providing a vendor table at the housing expo or becoming a sponsor of the expo, please contact Amy Wehler, event chairperson and Regional Housing Coordinator for the Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, at 339-4440.