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Home Modification

Paying for Home Modifications

Is there funding in the form of grants available for renovating homes to be wheelchair accessible?

Assistive Technology Funding and Systems Change Project United Cerebral Palsy Associations (UCPA) at Washington D. C. (800) 872-5827- UCPA provides funding information on equipping homes with technical support to promote independent living. For more information, call the UCPA.

Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA) (800) 827-1000- Disabled veterans are qualified for certain home modification benefits. Contact a service officer to determine the modifications paid for by the DVA. Call your local VA or the main office for information.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (800) 829-1040 - The IRS allows people with disabilities to claim as a deduction the cost of some home modifications. National Council on Independent Living Center (703) 525-3406 (V) (703) 524-3407 (TDD) - Provides information on how to get funding and referral services in your area.

Is there funding available for establishing an assisted living or board & care type facility?

Most sources of funding for assisted living vary from state to state. However, at the federal level, there are three types of government-assisted housing. They are as follows:

Public Housing - These are low cost housing in multi-unit complexes that are available to low-income families, including the elderly and disabled. These units allow tenants to pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent. The public housing is available to applicants who do not exceed published income levels, pending on the size of the household.

Section 8 Rental Certificates - These certificates are available to very low-income families with incomes not exceeding 50 percent of the median income for the area. Families are allowed to choose where they want to live, subject to HUD standards.

Section 202 Housing - This is a senior citizen housing, usually with supportive services such as meals, transportation, and accommodations for the disabled. Private, non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives are eligible to offer this type of housing to very low-income households that has at least one person 62 years or older, and the disabled. For information on each of these housing, contact your local housing authority, senior center, or HUD office.

Section 232 Program- This recently developed program supports construction and rehabilitation of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, intermediate-care facilities, and board-and-care homes by providing mortgage insurance. It is eligible to investors, builders, private non-profit corporations or associations. However, for nursing homes only, applicants may be public agencies that are licensed by the state to care for convalescents and people who need nursing care.

In the year 2000, HUD released the Housing Security Plan for Older Americans. This initiative includes a $50 million increase in funds to hire service coordinators, who help senior citizens get services they need to continue living in their HUD-subsidized apartments, which indirectly turns their current residence into assisted housing. In addition, there is a $50 million fund to convert existing HUD senior housing to assisted living facilities for senior citizens who need higher level of care. This legislation also allows seniors already receiving assistance through vouchers to use the vouchers in assisted living facilities for the first time. For information on how to utilize these funds, contact your local HUD office.

Are there loans available for room addition to accommodate frail elders / handicapped relatives?

One possible source of help would be the local FannieMae office. For more information, visit their web site at FannieMae also has 3 programs that might be helpful; the HomeChoice program, Home Keeper program, and the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. More information is on the web site at

Bank of America has Home Modification Loans for Homeowners under their Access Loans category. The program includes fixed interest rates and low minimum loan amounts. To apply for an Access Loan call (available only in the states listed):  California, Illinois: 1-800-843-2632, Texas, New Mexico: 1-800-900-9000 TDD 1-800-833-2632.

What resources are there for community/ academic research funding in the area of home modification?

There are many sources to obtain funding for research, through both foundation and government grants. Some examples include:

The National Institute on Aging Public Information Office Building 31, Room 5C27 31 Center Dr., MSC 2292 Bethesda, MD 20892. Phone: 301-496-l 752. Fax: 301-402-0051

The National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research U. S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202-0498. 1-800-USA-LEARN

There is also an Education Grants Guide, which can be obtained from their web site under "Program and Services" at .

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation College Road P.O. Box 2316 Princeton, NJ O8543-2316. Phone: 609-243-5946 Fax: 609-987-8746

The Retirement Research Foundation 8765 West Higgins Road, Suite 430 Chicago, IL 60631-4170. Phone: 773- 714-8080.  Online at [email protected].

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