The “RI Livable Home Modification Grant” is a resource that is administered by the RI Governor’s Commission on Disabilities to provide funding to assist homeowners and renters in retrofitting (adapting) homes or apartments to nationally recognized accessibility standards.
The Grant will reimburse 50% of the cost of modifying homes and apartments, up to a total of $5000.
In order for an individual with a disability to continue to live at home and to actively participate in local communities is the assumption he/she has the ability to get in and out of their home and safely move around within that home, with or without assistance. Modifying a home or apartment by removing barriers allows the person with disabilities to stay safely and independently within their own home/apartment, and remain out of costly long-term care facilities.
The RI Livable Home Modification Grant helps eligible individuals who are homeowners or renters to remain in their home and be more independent by offsetting the cost of some accessibility modifications, such as chair lifts, ramps, and accessible bathrooms and kitchens.
Applications for the Livable Home Modification Grant must be submitted and received by the RI Governor’s Commission on Disabilities prior to the start of modification activities to an existing home/apartment. Projects must be completed prior to the end of the State’s fiscal year, June 30, 2018, and post-modification documentation must be submitted no later than July 10th of the same calendar year.
What is the Eligibility Criteria?
Eligibility of a person is determined by the income in the prior year of the resident who has the disability, not the household income.
- If the resident who has the disability was not required to file a federal tax return in the prior year, the resident is automatically eligible for a Grant, if not eligible for modifications funded through other local, state/federal programs
- For residents who have a disability and filed a federal tax return in the prior year, that resident’s countable income must not be greater than 120% of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Area Median Income for Rhode Island.
- In order to qualify for the grant the retrofitting of an existing residential unitmust include at least one accessibility feature or sensory modifications as defined below.
What are Allowable Accessibility Modifications?
- Accessible route to a zero-step entrance into the residence
- Zero-step entrance into the residence
- Doors with at least 32 inches of clear width
- Hallways and passages with at least 36 inches of clear width
- Accessible light switches, electrical outlets and environmental controls
- Accessible bathroom
- Accessible and useable kitchen facilities
What are Allowable Sensory Modifications?
Alarms, appliances and controls designed to assist sensory disabled persons that are structurally integrated into the residential unit. Built-in appliances would meet this definition. Accommodations or features that can be removed and reinstalled in another residential unit and so reused at another location are not considered to be sensory modifications for the purposes of this tax credit program. Appliances or alarms that can be reinstalled in another residence would not meet this definition.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Check out the RI Livable Home Modification Grant application for more details on eligibility, requirements, and process listed below or contact the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities at 401-462-0100.
Information for this article provided by Sue Babin, RI Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC)