If you need home renovations to make your living area safe, and you qualify, here are four programs to consider:
- If you have an income below a certain threshold, you can participate in the RESTORE Program (Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly). It provides home repair help of up to $7,500 to enable a senior to modify his or her home with rails, ramps, etc. and remove hazards. To be eligible for assistance, homeowners must be 60 years of age or older and have a household income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income. To learn more about the Restore Program, contact your local Division of Housing.
- The Access to Home Program, provides resources for minor modifications so that low-income elderly or disabled can remain independent and stay in their homes. For more information, call (845) 342-3978.
- Rebuilding Together is the only national non-profit that provides free home repair help to homeowners in need, particularly low-income, at-risk elderly and veterans. Find a local chapter of Rebuilding Together or call their national office at 1-800-473-4229.
- Basically the government prefers you stay in your home rather than pay to keep you in a nursing home, so they will do what it takes to help you age at home, including making safety modifications. The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver can provide funding for necessary repairs, depending on how much money is in the state’s coffers at a particular time. Contact your local department of social services. If your income is low, you can apply for this money whether you are on Medicaid or on Medicare.
Bear in mind that in some cases, there may be waiting lists or simply not enough funds, if it’s a government program, so get your name on all the lists you can.
Need to repair your home, but you can’t afford to get a loan?
The USDA has Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants of $7,500 (one per family) that can be used to repair roofs, heating, electrical and plumbing systems, water and waste disposal, install screens, windows, insulation and other steps to make the home safe. To receive this home repair help, you must be 62 or older, unable to get credit elsewhere and have a very low-income.
There are also low-interest loans–a maximum term of 20 years and a fixed interest rate of 1%—and no down payment. If an individual’s income is too high to qualify for a direct loan, guaranteed loans are available.
Go to the USDA site to learn more and to apply for either the grant or the loan.
Do you live in Albany?
Programs like this go by the name of The Senior Rehabilitation Program where you can get a $5,000 one-time grant if your income is no greater than $49,300 for two residents, $43,150 for one; after five years or if you leave your home to go to assisted living, the grant is forgiven. Learn what repairs are eligible by clicking on the name of the program.