The Access to Home Program provides financial assistance to property owners to make dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate income persons with disabilities. Providing assistance with the cost of adapting homes to meet the needs of those with disabilities will enable individuals to safely and comfortably continue to live in their residences and avoid institutional care. Project selection shall take into consideration the recommendation of the relevant regional economic development council or the Commissioner's determination that the proposed project aligns with the regional strategic priorities of the respective region.
Grants are to be made to municipalities and eligible not-for-profit entities that have substantial experience in adapting or retrofitting homes for persons with disabilities. Adaptation work must meet the needs of those with physical disabilities and seniors with an age-related disability. Examples include: wheel chair ramps and lifts, handrails, easy-to-reach kitchen work and storage areas, lever handles on doors, roll-in showers with grab bars, etc. All areas of the State are eligible.
Homeowners and renters may qualify for loan assistance through the municipality or not-for-profit entity under the following criteria: the occupant is physically disabled or has substantial difficulty with an activity of daily living because of aging; the dwelling unit is a permanent residence; and, total household income does not exceed 80 percent of area median income, or 120% of area median income if person in need of modifications is a disabled veteran. (Proof that person was disabled due to service is required.)
Loans to homeowners will be up to 100% of the total cost of the adaptations to a maximum of $25,000. Loans will be at 0% interest with payments deferred on the condition the customer resides in the modified residence. The entire loan will be forgiven at the end of a regulatory period of up to five years.
The Access to Home program is funded from fees earned by the Housing Trust Fund Corporation.