Accessibility modification grants help those with disabilities have more freedom in their homes
If you, (or someone your love), lives with a disability, you might be eligible for a home modification grant. Federal, state, and private organizations all offer a wide range of programs and services that benefit different people, such as veterans and seniors. Read on to learn more about these beneficial programs and how to apply.
What Are Disability Grants for Home Modifications?
Federal and state agencies and private organizations invest in people with disabilities through home modification grants (money you don’t have to pay back). They vary in award amounts, designated groups of people like veterans, senior citizens, and low-income earners, and what improvements they’ll cover. They also require an application process.
What Do Disability Grants Cover?
Disability grants cover a wide range of home modifications inside and outside of the house. They can be as extensive as accessible outdoor landscaping and widening hallways, or as simple as adding non-slip flooring. Other common projects include lowering thermostat panels and kitchen cabinets, and updating to universal bathroom designs for wheelchair users.
Depending on the agency or group, some grants cover all of the expenses and some only cover portions.
Disability Modifications Costs
The costs vary depending on how much work is needed, but the average disability modification costs about $4,350.
Here’s a look at common modification projects and their costs:
Wheelchair ramp: $950–$3,000
Wheelchair ramp repairs: $560–$2,000
Elevator or lift repair and replacement: $180–$530
Grab bars and handrails: $100–$500
Widening doors: $700–$2,500
Walk-in tubs designed for mobility issues: $1,000–$17,000
How to Apply for Home Modification Grants
Each grant has guidelines for applying, so read over the requirements and eligibility criteria before starting. You can expect that federal and state grants will need a significant amount of documentation like bank documents, tax returns, and medical history.
In addition to financial records, private organizations could ask for your personal background, unique circumstances, and how you would use the grant money to improve your home and lifestyle.
What Federal, State, and Private Organizations Offer Grants?
The good news is that there are many organizations offering grants. Once you learn to find the grants and apply, you’ll be on your way to making life-changing modifications to your home.
Veterans, in particular, can take advantage of federal grants, but there are opportunities for other groups of people.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers grants for Specially Adapted Housing, Special Housing Adaptation, and Temporary Residence Adaptation.
Rebuilding Together AmeriCorps helps families with one or more members with disabilities update their house.
The Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants Program is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It provides grants for low-income people over 62 years old who prefer to age in place.
The Assisted Living Conversion Program (ALCP), operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is designed for the elderly with disabilities who need home renovations and possibly an aide’s assistance.
Sometimes the best help is local. Check your home state’s chapters of national organizations to improve your accessible housing options.
USDA state offices at local levels sometimes have more flexibility and a wider range of eligibility.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has chapters countrywide. Local chapters provide a variety of help for disabled community members.
Lions Clubs International offers help for hearing impairment and vision disability adaptations.
The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) is a one-stop shop for organizations in your state that provide housing modification assistance.
The American Parkinson Disease Association funds grants for people with disabilities due to degenerative disease.
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification publishes a state directory with home modification and financial assistance resources.
Private Organizations That Offer Grants
Regardless of where you live, you can ask these organizations for assistance; just read over their application process for eligibility.
The Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (RISE) serves veterans by funding mobility devices, adapted vehicles, modifying homes, and constructing new houses.
The American Red Cross works with active military service members, veterans, and their families with disabilities to find ways to modify their homes.
The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) provides aid to disabled soldiers, veterans, and their families for expenses related to independent living.
The Self-Sufficiency Grant from ModestNeeds.Org supports low-income and disabled people who struggle with paying for adaptable home repairs.
The Individual Adaptive Equipment Grant from the Travis Roy Foundation assists people who’ve suffered a spinal cord injury and could benefit from improvements like ramps or grab bars.
What to Do if You Can't Get a Grant
If you don’t qualify for a grant, you may be eligible for an affordable home improvement loan. Shop a few local lenders for the best rates, but start with these options when researching loans. These are rehabilitation loans that let you refinance your current mortgage and add in the cost of your home modifications into the payments.