Fortunately, there are many different types of assistance and sources of assistance for making modifications to one’s home to accommodate the elderly and/or disabled. Prior to a discussion of the sources of assistance, it is helpful to distinguish between the types of assistance available.
Types of Home Modification Assistance
Some organizations, mainly governmental, offer low interest loans for home modifications or guarantee loans so that banks are less restrictive with their lending requirements. These loans, of course, need to be paid back. Home improvement grants, on the other hand, are typically one-time and available for a specific home modification purpose and do not need to be re-paid. Another form of assistance is free labor to make home improvements. Finally, some organizations make free, long term loans of home modification equipment to the elderly. For example, they may lend a senior a removable wheelchair that does not need to be returned until the senior moves from the home and no longer requires use of the ramp.
Home Modification Resources
Most financial assistance for home modifications comes from one of the following 3 major sources. One can browse the programs using the links below or search for relevant programs using our Home Modification Resource Locator Tool.
1. Federal Government Programs for Home Modifications
There are government programs such as HUD Home Improvement Loans, USDA Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grants and multiple grants from the Veteran’s Administration including SAH Grants, SHA Grants and HISA Grants and VD-HCBS.
2. State Government Programs for Home Modifications
Non-Medicaid Home Modification Assistance
Some of these state government programs may be specifically designed to help with home modifications but most of them fall under the category of nursing home diversion programs in which assistance in making home modifications is provided with the objective of preventing individuals from having to move into skilled nursing homes. Unfortunately not all states offer programs.
Medicaid Waivers for Home Modifications and Assistive Technology
For individuals enrolled in, or qualified for Medicaid, many states have home modification and assistive technology Medicaid waiver programs. These waivers are intended to enable nursing home qualified individuals to remain living at home. In doing so, the waivers often will pay for approved home modifications to increase an individual’s ability to live independently.
3. Non-Profits and Community Organizations
Many non-profits and other organizations offer assistance in the form of financial aid or volunteer labor to help seniors with home modifications. One of the most noteworthy is the organization Rebuilding Together / Christmas in April which offers 3 programs: Safe at Home, Heroes at Home and National Rebuilding Day. Community building projects provide seniors with volunteer labor to help them make home improvements.
Finally, there are other miscellaneous home modification assistance resources such as reverse mortgages and tax deductions for home modifications that can help to reduce or offset the cost of making a home more accessible to the elder