Approximately four years ago, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) established the Home Application for Seniors’ Independence (HASI) program.
This program offers financial assistance for minor home adaptations that will help low-income seniors perform activities of daily living in their home. Eligible seniors and landlords may receive up to $3,500 in the form of a forgivable loan. If you are a homeowner, the loan will be forgiven if you continue to live in the home for six months after the adaptations are completed.
A landlord making adaptations to a rental unit cannot increase the rent as a result of the adaptations.
Who Can Apply ?
Homeowners and landlords may qualify for assistance if:
• The occupant is 65 years of age or over and has difficulty with activities of daily living due to age;
• The total household income is at or below the program income limit for that geographical area. For example, the total household income limit is $36,000 for mid-Toronto. Call 1-800-668-2642 to find out the income limits for other areas; and
• The home is a permanent residence.
The adaptations eligible for this program should be minor and permanently installed or fixed to the dwelling. Examples include:
• Installing handrails, grab bars and vertical poles;
• Adding ramps and handrails;
• Adding lever handles on doors;
• Adding non-slip surfaces in bathtubs and bathrooms;
• Installing lever faucets on kitchen and/or bathroom sinks;
• Replacing the bathtub with a shower stall if the occupant has severe difficulty getting into the bathtub;
• Installing a hand-held shower device;
• Relocating the bedroom, laundry area or toilet to the main floor; and
• Installing easy to reach work and storage areas in the kitchen, laundry area and bedroom.
Ineligible Adaptations Portable aid items (e.g., walkers and household appliances) and therapeutic items (e.g., whirlpools) are not eligible for HASI.
Approval In order to be eligible for HASI, work must be approved by CMHC before it is carried out.
For more information, contact CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or go to their website CMHC will send a HASI application package to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria.
Article courtesy of ACE. This article was originally published in the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly’s summer 2009 newsletter. To view a copy of that newsletter, Click here or click here to visit the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly’s (ACE) website