I’m Home, I Want to Stay Home, How Do I budget for Home Modifications?

Remodeling and modifying a home is a necessity for wheelchair mobility, but how do you budget and pay for it? It is highly recommended that the first thing you need to consider is to meet with a CAPS (Certified Aging In Place Specialist) Home Modification Expert. When you receive your CAPS report, it will list all the recommendations to modify your home and make it accessible. At this point, prioritize which areas of the home MUST be accessible for your everyday living needs. Then take a look at what modifications are required for full accessibility of those areas.

Next, meet with a contractor who is experienced in home modifications for accessibility and have him/her prepare an estimate for the necessary renovations. Once this estimate is received, determine if the projects are within your budget. If they are not, reach out to resources that will help with your home modifications. There are many choices out there for people who need help paying for accessible home modifications and repairs. A few different choices to consider include, grants, financing options that assist with low interest loans, and scholarships/charitable contributions.

Let us take a look at low interest loans for a moment. Your local Easter Seals chapter will provide you with different financing options. The Single Family Housing Repair Program offers loans to lower income homeowners for modifications and household repairs. This program also offers grants to lower income older adults to help them remove health and safety hazards. The Access Home Modification Program provides mortgage loans (up to $10,000) for persons with disabilities or for family members in the household with a disability. This program provides a deferred payment loan with 0% interest and no fees. There is no repayment until the house is sold, transferred or the first mortgage is paid off or refinanced.

Grants are also available to help with home modification costs. The Brian Riesch Paralysis Foundation offers charitable grants to those living with mobility disabilities, especially those with SCI (spinal cord injuries). Their grants provide home and transportation accessibility assistance. CMMS Deshae Lott Ministries, Quality of Life Grants will also help with modifications for your home.

The VA offers programs and grants to provide home modifications for our disabled veterans. Specially Adopted Housing Grant (SAH) will help a veteran modify a home to make it wheelchair accessible and barrier free. To use this grant, there must be a service-oriented disability. The Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) is a grant offered for accessible home improvements. This grant is available to veterans whose disability is not service connected.

Lastly, there are scholarships/charitable contributions available to help you budget for home modifications. Rebuilding Together helps people with disabilities modify their home and make it barrier free. Christmas in April is a volunteer project that takes place the first Saturday in April. They will paint and make home repairs for low income, elderly and disabled homeowners. Look for a Chapter in your area.
This is just a little taste, of the many resources available when budgeting to create a safe and accessible home. There are plenty of other options. A little research goes a long way.

Stay tuned and Stay Living Safe…

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