STATE PROFILE: Maine

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Maine

A State Profile of Home Modification Activities

Welcome to the Maine State Profile Page! This page features a sample of survey and research results from a comprehensive review of state and local home modification activities across the country. It has a special focus on the aging population and the efforts of State Units on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and Native American aging service programs that are funded by the Older Americans Act Title VI Grants for Indian Tribal Organizations.

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SPOTLIGHT ON STATE LEVEL HOME MODIFICATION ACTIVITIES

This section shares information that demonstrates the need for home modification in this state and highlights some of the state’s important home modification efforts, policies, and funding sources.

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SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL HOME MODIFICATION EFFORTS

How are agencies across the country responding to their communities’ home modification needs? Read about stand-out home modification efforts the aging network is conducting in this state.

Check back as new updates will be posted periodically! Have any changes or additions? Please contact homemods@usc.edu

SPOTLIGHT ON STATE LEVEL HOME MODIFICATION ACTIVITIES

Home Modification and Repairs for Older Adults: Challenges and Opportunities for State Units on Aging: This report by the USC Fall Prevention Center of Excellence and ADvancing States reports on a national survey

STATE OF MAINE AGING AND DISABILITY SERVICES (State Unit on Aging)

State Units on Aging (SUAs) are designated state-level agencies that develop and administer state plans that advocate for and provide assistance, including home modifications or repairs, to older residents, their families, and adults with physical disabilities. SUAs administer funds, including Older Americans Act funds, which may be used to support home modification or repair services through local Area Agencies on Aging and other state and local entities. Examples include:

1. Maine Family Caregiver Support Program: Caregiver Respite Program
Program Description: The Caregiver Respite Program supports family caregivers by reimbursing costs incurred by providing care for a person with dementia. This care might take place in the home, at an adult day program, or overnight in a facility (on a limited basis). Services are administered via Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging, and home modifications that support independent living may be reimbursed up to $2,000 over a program participant’s lifetime.
Population Served: Caregivers of persons with dementia.

2. Medicaid Waivers
The Maine Aging and Disability Services Department oversees several Medicaid Waivers that include environmental modifications:

Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities Waiver
Program Description: This Medicaid Waiver program provides supportive community services to older adults and adults with disabilities in order to avoid or delay nursing home placement. In-home services are funded through MaineCare Waiver programs or through state funds.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible older adults and persons with disabilities who meet functional eligibility for in-home services.

Home and Community-Based Services for Adults with Brain Injury Waiver
Program Description: This Medicaid Waiver is for individuals 18 years and older who have sustained an acquired brain injury due to an insult to the brain resulting directly or indirectly from trauma, infection, anoxia, or vascular lesions, and not of a degenerative or congenital nature. The waiver provides services such as environmental adaptations that support community living.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible individuals 18 years of age and older with an acquired brain injury.

Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autistic Disorder Waivers
Program Description: Two home and community-based Medicaid Waiver programs provide services in a variety of settings including at home, in the community, and on the job.
Population Served: Adults with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders who want to live as independently as possible at home and in the community.

MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (DECD)

Home Repair Network Program
Program Description: The Home Repair Network program provides funding statewide to address housing problems of low- and moderate-income persons. The program provides housing rehabilitation services administered on a regional basis throughout Maine via Community Development Block Grants. Services include the rehabilitation of occupied or vacant single-family or multi-family housing units, demolition, same-site replacement housing, provision of potable water and sewer, energy conservation, removal/mitigation of lead-based paint, asbestos, radon, or other hazardous material, removal of architectural barriers and the Critical Access Ramp Program (via Alpha One).
Population Served: Varies by region.

MAINE STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

AccessAble Home Tax Credit
Program Description: This tax credit of up to $9,000 may be used for modifications that make the home more accessible for people with a physical disability or a physical hardship who live or will live at the residence to qualify. Allowable expenses include changes to flooring to mitigate tripping hazards, installation of grab bars, installation of access ramps, and widening of doorways. Taxpayers must demonstrate that the work meets certain standards, including compliance with applicable building codes.
Population Served: The tax credit may be used by individuals who earn $55,000 or less for expenses paid for modifications to their residence to make it accessible for a person with a physical disability or physical hardship who lives or will live at the residence.

MAINE STATE HOUSING AUTHORITY

1. Community Aging in Place Grants
Program Description: The Community Aging in Place Grant Program offers no-cost home safety checks, minor maintenance repairs, and accessibility modifications to eligible low-income elderly and disabled homeowners. It is modeled after Bath Housing’s Comfortably Home program and based on the evidence-based CAPABLE Program from Johns Hopkins University. It is administered by eight Public Housing Authorities and two Community Action Agencies.
Population Served: Program recipients must be age 55 or older or have a disability, own their home or live in a home owned by a family member, and have an annual household income limit of 80% of area median income.

2. Home Accessibility and Repair Program
Program Description: The Maine State Housing Authority’s Home Accessibility and Repair Program provides grants to low-income homeowners who cannot afford necessary home repairs, including improvements necessary to permit use by persons with disabilities or who are experiencing physical barriers living at the home.
Population Served: Homeowners must have lived in the home that will be renovated or repaired for at least one year prior to applying and have a household income at or below 80% of area median income.

MAINE STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

Maine CITE Program
The State Assistive Technology Grant Program, funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, supports comprehensive, statewide programs in each state that improve the provision of assistive technology (often home modification-related) to individuals with disabilities of all ages.

MAINE STATE FALLS PREVENTION COALITION

Maine Falls Prevention Coalition
For an up to date list of all state fall prevention coalitions, visit: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/list-of-state-falls-prevention-coalitions/

SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL HOME MODIFICATION EFFORTS BY THE AGING NETWORK

1. To locate the Area Agency on Aging in your state, please contact Eldercare Locator at https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx

2. Data Brief: Building Community Capacity to Serve Older Adults: The Role of Area Agencies on Aging in Home Modifications and Repairs
This Data Brief highlights key findings from the 2019 National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging on how Area Agencies on Aging are providing and funding home modification and repair activities. It was developed by the USC Fall Prevention Center of Excellence in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging as part of the Administration for Community Living project, “Promoting Aging in Place by Enhancing Access to Home Modifications.”

3. Featured Efforts:

EZ Fix Program
Eastern Area Agency on Aging
Bangor, Maine
The EZ Fix Program helps older adults and adults with disabilities to remain safely in their homes by providing minor home repair, housekeeping, and in-home technology training and services throughout rural Eastern Maine. Initially, Eastern Area Agency on Aging (EAAA) recognized that low-income seniors were struggling to keep their homes repaired and established a volunteer-based program to address these needs. When it became apparent that seniors also faced challenges keeping their homes clean, per-diem housekeepers were hired. To fund the program beyond the Bangor area, EAAA started a fee-for-service version of the program to assist over-income clients who previously could not participate. This revenue is put back into the program to fund low-income services across more than 13,000 square miles of rural Maine. Revenue comes from client fees, private grants and fundraising.

Home Safety Assessment Service
Central Maine Area Agency on Aging/Spectrum Generations
Augusta, Maine
The Home Safety Assessment Service of the Central Maine Area Agency on Aging provides home assessments which include a detailed review of a consumer’s home (all livable space, storage, basement, garage and grounds surrounding the home). A report results in a written home assessment of simple home changes, products to aid safety, and modification specialist resources. A fee of $125 is charged for the assessment and report.

This page is brought to you by the project, “Promoting Aging in Place by Enhancing Access to Home Modifications,” supported, in part, by grant number HHS-2018-ACL-AOA-HMOD-0308 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.