Home Improvement Grants for Disabled

This article is about Home Improvement Grants for Disabled Homeowners, home modifications that may need to be done and information and links to Grant Programs.

***IMPORTANT UPDATE:***

I like it when information regarding possible home improvement grants for disabled has been clarified, I would have prefered confirmation that such an elusive grant was readily available but perhaps part of the battle towards gaining this important assistance, is raising awareness of this growing problem.

I received a helpful message from a kind lady from over at the Ross program. She explains that:-

"the ROSS-Elderly/Persons with Disabilities grant" - is not directed at individuals - "This grant is for the provision of supportive services to residents of public housing. Individuals are not eligible to apply for the grant and no grant funds may be used for construction or rehab."

It is a blow to our search for the right home improvement grants for disabled, however, first of all I found that it is rare to get any response at all "I appreciate that you are working to help the community." - and I am very grateful to have received this message - but I would also like to offer thanks to this lady for going on to offer advise regarding where we can turn to next:-

"Individuals are rarely eligible to apply directly for HUD grants. I generally advise talking to a Certified Housing Counselor to find out what programs/grants/etc. are available in any given area. The best information I have on federal grants for homeownership and home improvement can be found on www.hud.gov/grants in the box "resources for individuals.""

In the Resources for Individuals box it is stated that "While HUD does not offer direct grants or loans to individuals, we do work through local governments and non profit organisations to make financial assistance and counseling available. Try these resources."

You can visit this page at the HUD web site where there are at present 10 links to other resources. Here are three of those same links:-

We will continue to search - meanwhile if you have had success in obtaining funding in the form of home improvement grants for disabled from your local government, please do take the time to write in so that we can help get the information to our visitors.

Excellent examples of the type of assistance we are all searching for in the USA and around the world can be found in Canada

- namely the "Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI) Program" or the "Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities (RRAP - Disabilities)" - and even the "Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP - Secondary / Garden Suite)" - read more about these great programs here at Canadian Home Improvement Programs

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Back to original article:-

In 2006 when the present administration gave awards in the form of grants to enable home modifications for disabled homeowners, many of us new that the long struggle for help and recognition was finally being realised.

We all want to retain our independance and remain in our own homes, but when life takes an unfortunate turn and we find ourselves disabled in any way - it is only then that the reality of how difficult it becomes to move around our homes freely and to be able to do the most fundamental daily activities - actually becomes painstakingly clear.

Serious mobility disabilities may well require a home move - If you have disabilities which mean that a wheelchair is your only means of getting around - you will have realised that your major problems are in the two most vital rooms of your home - the kitchen and bathroom - as long as the hallway and doorways are wide enough to enable you to push yourself to those rooms.

While you are reading this article on home improvement grants for disabled - you will fall into one of two categories, either you are saying, "I know all that, I face those problems daily, minute by minute" or you may be thinking, "I didn't realise that people wheelchair bound would have such difficulties living in their own homes". If you are the former please bear with me as we point out some of the most basic difficulties involved in living in your wheelchair, in your home - to those who are able to move around freely.

Here we are covering Internal Doorways, Floors and Stairs, The Kitchen, The Bathroom and Grants - home improvement grants for disabled.


Home Improvement Grants for Disabled - Internal Doorways

The overall width for a standard wheelchair is 27" for a chair with a 18" seat, or 25" for a chair with a 16" seat. Add to either size your hands and unscathed nuckles and elbows... and you need to live in a home with internal door widths of at least 30" - better still 32" + so that you can comfortably maneuver yourself and your wheelchair around your home.

Unfortunately there are too many homes that now require home improvement grants for disabled, especially older homes that have internal doorways as narrow as 21 inches, many are around 24" and 27". New homes usually have a standard door width of 30", more generous builds go to 32", 33" and even 34".

If you are now in a wheelchair and your internal doors are less than 30" - obviously a great deal of home modification for disabled has to be applied to enable you to remain independant and move around your home.


Home Improvement Grants for Disabled - Stairs

If the home you invested in many years earlier just happens to be on one level - how much easier is it going to be for you to transform your home into a user friendly environment to live in now. But, if you have split level areas or stairs you are going to need some careful planning and a substantial budget to resolve these problems to open your capacity to be mobile throughout your whole home and not just be limited to the ground floor.

Chair lifts are better designed and easier to use than ever before. You can buy new or reconditioned models, however chair lifts can also be rented. The most important factors are safety and reliability - and of course qualified installation.


Home Improvement Grants for Disabled - The Kitchen

  • The doorway should be wide enough to easily enter without damaging your hands or elbows.

  • The countertops will be too high and will need to be lowered or replaced with specialized units.

  • The same for the kitchen range and all other fixtures and fittings.

  • There needs to be enough floor space in the kitchen to be able to move the chair around AND open kitchen cupboards or kitchen units.

  • If your fridge is one of the tall thin units you may need to replace it with a model giving you easier accessability to the shelves.


Home Improvement Grants for Disabled - The Bathroom

  • The doorway should be wide enough to easily enter without damaging your hands or elbows.

  • Sink and toilet facilities ideally should be replaced with lower level specialized fixtures and fittings.

  • The hardest task for anyone wheelchair bound - in the bathroom - is actually being able to get in and out of the standard bath safely. Many simply can't do it unaided and it can be back breaking for anyone assisting. If your bathroom is really generous in size you may consider leaving in your present bathroom suite and adding an additional walk in tub or wide doored sit in shower.

Bathroom Solutions:

Looking around you will find all kinds of companies with names like "MobilityPlus", "Independant Living", "Aquability" and "Practical Bathing" to name just a few and my advice to you is have a very close look at what these companies have to offer because there has never ever been such a variety of different products available to help make bathing easier - as there are now. Looking around at different products will give you a better idea of what option will both suit your needs and fit well into the available space in your home.

These products fall into two main categories:

  • The Walk in Bath and the
  • Sit in Shower Unit

Basically, Walk in Baths come in both the full size to lie down in - and the half sized tub to sit in. Both have a door in the side for easier accessability.

Sit in Shower Units are extra wide units with extra wide doorways and should have a substantial seat directly under the shower head - which often can be folded back against the wall. They should have an Anti-slip shower tray, hand rails and all the knobs for water and heat within reach of the person seated.

Quick solutions are not always the best, but there are also different types of strap lifts and inflatable air cushions available to help us get into and out of the standard Bathtub.


Home Improvement Grants for Disabled

Everything costs money, even these fundamental changes that are necessary for you as a disabled person to be able to actually live in your home are costly and that is why home improvement grants for disabled are vital.

What is important is that governments around the world realize that although there has always been a need for home modification assistance for disabled homeowners - that well used phrase: The Boomer Generation, through sheer mass of people - is bringing greater awareness to the problems of older generations and those with disabilities around the world - in the same way that Boomers have affected and more often brought changes to life in general - in every generation they have passed through, and being a late Boomer I say that with pride.

If Consumer needs are being better met by the greater number of facilities and products that are being created for us.

Help is needed in the form of a disabled grant or home loan for the disabled who cannot meet the cost of these important products and required home modifications on their own.

While the US Department of Housing (HUD) has been helping the elderly and people with disabilities find the right housing to meet their needs for quite a while now, the concept of grants to modify existing homes in a way that enables people to remain in their own homes - is a fairly new concept.

I am reminded of the awards given by the Bush Administration early in 2006 to help people with disabilities to continue to live independently at home. With this in mind there is a distinct lack of grants available at present to really meet this important need.

We mentioned the FY 2007 SuperNOFA Program:

- please see our update at the top of this page where it is confirmed that this program is not for individuals.

or simply go to the HUD Web site and work your way through the "Grants" section to find something that might better suit your needs.

I sincerely hope that a program of grants aimed at aiding disabled homeowners will be available in the near future.

Home Improvement Grants for Disabled would have been a good topic for americans to bring up on U-tube Debates during the presidential elections as it is going to be a very important subject for future governments.

The availability of these types of grants will have to be expanded on - there are now approximately 40 million people aged 65 years or older living in the US alone - and this figures is set to steadily grow for at least the next 40 years.

It is said that more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else !!! - just one of the reasons why it is so important to take the neccesary steps to help make sure that you are living in a home environment that is safe and safely meets your needs.

This may well be a good time to send those letters and make those phone calls to make sure that local political leaders in your area are aware of your needs.

Here's hoping for a steady yearly increase in the availability of really comprehensive Home Improvement Grants for Disabled.


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