Are there government programs to help pay for safety and accessibility home renovations?

by Audrey Miller on June 8, 2009

in Baby Boomers, Caregiving, Dementia, Elder Care, Estate Planning, FAQ, Geriatric Care Management

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Yes, the Canadian Government offers several programs to help Seniors through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Home Adaptations for Seniors Independence Program (HASI) This program helps homeowners and landlords pay for minor home adaptations to extend the time low-income seniors can live in their own homes independently. Who is eligible? Homeowners and landlords may qualify for assistance as long as the occupant of the dwelling where the adaptations will be made meets the following eligibility criteria:

  • is 65 and over;
  • has difficulty with daily living activities brought on by ageing;
  • total household income is at or below a specified limit for your area;
  • dwelling unit is a permanent residence.

What financial assistance is available?

Assistance is a forgivable loan of up to $3,500. The loan does not have to be repaid as long as the homeowner agrees to continue to occupy the unit for the loan forgiveness period, which is six months. If the adaptation work is being done on a rental unit, the landlord must agree that rents will not increase as a result.

What sorts of adaptations can be done?

The adaptations should be minor items that meet the needs of seniors with an age-related disability. They could be:

  • handrails;
  • easy-to-reach work and storage areas in the kitchen;
  • lever handles on doors;
  • walk-in showers with grab bars;
  • bathtub grab bars and seats.

All adaptations should be permanent and fixed to the dwelling. IMPORTANT: Work carried out before the loan is approved in writing is not eligible for funding under this program.

Other financial assistance from CMHC

If your home requires extensive modifications, such as wider doorways and increased space for wheelchair manoeuvring, consult the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities. In some areas of Canada, funding for these or similar programs is provided jointly by the Government of Canada, and the provincial or territorial government. In these areas, the provincial or territorial housing agency may be responsible for delivery of the programs. Program variations may also exist in these areas.

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