Bill 2, an Act to amend the Taxation Act, 2007 to implement a healthy homes renovation tax credit

April 20th 2012: CARP Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is now available for full download.  What follows is an excerpt:

A New Vision for Aging at Home
Like all Canadians, Ontarians want to live at home for as long as possible, regardless of physical limitations and changes in health.  Promoting aging at home through accessible infrastructure is an important step towards helping Ontarians age at home.

CARP is calling for a new vision for aging at home that addresses the diversity of needs and challenges that Canadians may experience that also contributes towards building a sustainable healthcare system. CARP’s new vision of aging at home requires a commitment to sustainable funding and standards for an integrated system of continuing care that meets the variety of needs and challenges of all Canadians as they age.

By helping individuals to address the obstacles in their homes and increase accessibility to suit their needs, we can ensure that those who have the health and means to make these changes will continue to live independently, freeing up provincial healthcare resources for those who have greater needs.

As a step in the right direction, Bill 2 – the Ontario Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit Act – has the potential to make it safer and easier for Ontarians to age at home, while reducing costs to Ontario’s healthcare system. Bill 2 also represents an opportunity to build on the promises delivered in Ontario’s 2012 budget.

CARP Members Support the Principles of Bill 2
In a recent CARP poll, members affirm support of tax credits that promote aging at home for longer and more safely. Almost half of CARP members polled say that they would participate in a home renovation tax credit.

Close to one half of members would apply for a home renovation tax credit and half say it would allow them to stay at home and out of assisted living facilities. The majority of CARP members agree that a tax credit such as Bill 2 is a worthwhile government expenditure.

How likely would you be to apply for a home renovation tax credit designed to make your home more accessible? Importantly, half of members say that renovating their homes for accessibility would allow them to stay out of assisted care for longer (49%).

The budget concedes what most people already take for granted, that “it costs taxpayers
more to provide seniors’ care in a long-term care home than it does to support seniors
who live in their own home or with a family member”.