Home Repair Help for Seniors

Spring is upon us and for most homeowners, there is a long to do list at this time of the year.  It can be overwhelming for seniors who want to stay in their own home but are physically unable to do the work themselves and have limited resources for paid labour.

While many modifications to make a house accessible for seniors are tax deductible, regular maintenance may fall outside of allowances.  However there are federal and provincial grants available for seniors to stay safely in their own home.  For example, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers grants for seniors over the age of 65 who are low income and have an “age-related loss of ability”.  The grants of up to $3,500 are designed to improve a home’s physical safety and facilities however, any work or adaptations must be permanent.

The CMHC recommends asking friends and family for referrals before hiring a contractor.  More information about the program and resources such as a home adaptation guide and checklist can be found at: cmhc-schol.gc.ca .

The recent 2015 Federal Budget introduced the Home Accessibility Tax Credit which helps seniors and those with disabilities improve their home’s safety, accessibility and functionality. Seniors will require a receipt from the contractor to claim the credit, a measure which is hoped to reduce scams on seniors including fraud and shoddy workmanship.

Home repair and modification funding is also available at the provincial and municipal level through local programs and charities such as the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund.   Check with your local government for more information.