Resources for You
Area Agency on Aging
Contact the county’s Area Agency on Aging to find out about home modification and repair funds provided by the Older Americans Act.
Grants may also be available through other local government programs. Check with the city or county housing or community development department.
Home energy update assistance programs
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income households pay for heating and cooling energy costs, energy crisis assistance, weatherization, and energy-related home repairs.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) gives financial assistance to update homes so they’ll be more energy efficient and weatherized.
Home renovation loan from the FHA 203(k) program
The government’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program provides homeowners with low cost financing known as the 203(k) program. The interest rates will vary, but in general the funds are provided at a much lower cost to anyone that is seeking money for their home. It is a form of financial assistance that is fully backed by the FHA.
The mortgage that a homeowner can receive from the federal government FHA loan will allow the costs of home improvements, repairs and rehabilitation to be included. So the money borrowed is “pre-approved” to help pay for those expenses, and this is noted in the application for the federally insured loan amount that the borrower originates. So this type of financing and loan product will help the homeowner as they will not need to come up with cash. It also stops them from having to take out another loan or mortgage to pay for any work that needs to be done on the home.
Funds can also be used for the purchase of a house. Not only can someone purchase a home with the renovation financing program, but it also allows the buyer to finance and pay for any repairs and-or needed home improvements. So FHA 203K funds can in effect assist someone with buying an older, fixer upper type property.
The program can be used by individuals and families who are looking to purchase a new home, and it can also be used by existing homeowners who just want to to perform repair or renovation work on their current property. Or the older, needing repair type home as noted above. The bottom line is that it provides homeowners with a responsible way to purchase a fixer-upper property or a home that needs repairs. There are also separate programs as well that are similar, with a focus on FHA energy conservation updates, such as the Energy Efficient Mortgage.
Some long-term care insurance policies cover some home modifications. Check your older adult’s policy for details.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid won’t pay for home modifications, but they will pay for durable medical equipment with a doctor’s prescription.
That could include a bath transfer bench, toilet safety frame, hospital bed, walker, wheelchair, and more.
Talk with your older adult’s doctor to find out if durable medical equipment could be used to improve their health and safety at home
Rebuilding Together is a national nonprofit organization that helps with repairs and home modifications to promote health, safety, and independence.
Sliding scale and reduced fee contractor services
Some contractors are willing to do home modifications for seniors at a reduced fee or on a sliding scale, depending on their income.
When calling contractors for estimates, ask if this is an option for your older adult.
State Assistance Programs for Home Modifications for Aging in Place
U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Section 504 Home Repair program provides grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to fix health and safety hazards. It also provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes.
Universal Design Living Laboratory
Discover how to live at home more affordably — with independence, safety and dignity. Universal Design Living Laboratory Mission Statement is to bring about awareness of the quality of indoor and outdoor lifestyle through universal design, green building, safety, and healthy home construction practices to the public, construction and design industries. https://www.udll.com