Budget 2009: Home Renovations and Seniors’ Housing

The Home Renovation Tax Credit will be helpful for those needing to retrofit their homes to make them safer and more age-friendly not just those seeking to beautify their homes. The 15% tax credit [maximum $1,350] is available on expenditures of $1,000 to $10,000 and applies to renovations, new floors, new furnace, painting, resurfacing a driveway and laying new sod. The eligible expenditures include renovating kitchens or bathrooms and should include retrofits like grab bars, wheelchair ramps and wider doorways. Eligible renovation expenses claimed under the Medical Expenses Tax Credit may also be claimed for a HRTC which would contribute to people being able to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

The tax credit is shared among family members but siblings and unrelated people sharing ownership of the home may each claim a full HRTC. For people considering their living arrangements to accommodate their needs as they age, this credit along with the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit [maximum $750] and RRSP withdrawals may be combined imaginatively to make it financially feasible.