STATE PROFILE: Pennsylvania

Gold Bee CBD Gummies

Pennsylvania

A State Profile of Home Modification Activities

Welcome to the Pennsylvania 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 the aging network (State Units on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and Native American aging service programs that are funded by the Older Americans Act Title VI) as well as other governmental agencies and programs.

The capital building
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.

location tag on map
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 of the aging network as well as local agencies 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

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGING (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.

1. Caregiver Support Program
Program Description: This program focuses on decreasing the stresses of caregiving by reimbursing primary caregivers for costs associated with caregiving, such as respite, caregiving-related services, and modifications to the environment that support caregiving. It is administered by local Area Agencies on Aging. In 2018, the state increased the lifetime limit for home modifications.
Population Served: Eligibility requirements vary by age of caregiver.

2. Help at Home: Options Program
Program Description: This program provides a variety of services to individuals 60 years and older to help them stay in their own homes. Supplemental Services include home modifications to improve safety and accessibility. In 2018, the state increased the lifetime limit for home modifications.
Population Served: Pennsylvania residents age 60 years and older who have an unmet need for services.

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES: MEDICAID OFFICE

1. Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for Individuals Ages 60 and Older
Program Description: This waiver helps older Pennsylvanians continue to live in their homes and communities with support and services, including home adaptations.
Population Served: Pennsylvania residents 60 years and older who require a skilled nursing facility level of care.

2. Independence Waiver
Program Description: This waiver helps adults with severe physical disabilities remain at home or live in the community. Services include accessibility adaptations.
Population Served: Pennsylvania residents between the ages of 18-60 with a physical disability that limits three or more of the following major life activities: self-care, understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, self-direction and/or capacity for independent living. Financial requirements are determined by the county.

PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

Access Home Modification
Program Description: This program provides deferred payment mortgage loans with no interest and no monthly payment to assist persons with disabilities (or households with a family member(s) with disabilities) who are purchasing a home that needs accessibility modifications. The loan becomes due and payable upon sale, transfer, or non-owner occupancy of the property. Home modifications include changes made to the bathroom, kitchens, and access areas to the home.
Population Served: Homebuyers with a permanent disability or who have a family member living in the household with a permanent disability who are purchasing a new or existing home.

PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY

Program Description: The Pennsylvania Lottery is the only state lottery that designates all proceeds to programs that serve older adults across a state. Funds are allocated through Area Agencies in Pennsylvania for a variety of services that include home modification.
Populations Served: Older adults in Pennsylvania.

PENNSYLVANIA STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

TechOWL PA
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.

PENNSYLVANIA STATE FALL PREVENTION COALITION

Pennsylvania State Fall 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

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:

1. Chester County Home Modification Program (CCHMP)
Housing Partnership of Chester County – Good Works Inc.
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
This program is funded by a grant received from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program. It assists low- to moderate-income residents of Chester County who have permanent disabilities to increase the accessibility of their residences. The program provides adaptive modifications which include ramps, lifts, door and hallway widening, kitchen and bathroom modifications, visual doorbells, audio phones and visual phone signalers.

2. Family Caregiver Support Program
Montgomery County Aging and Adult Services
Norristown, Pennsylvania
This program provides individuals who are caring for someone age 60 or older a one-time grant of up to $2,000 to modify the home, to purchase assistive devices or to accommodate the frail relative. These adaptations include installing a stair glide, wheelchair ramp, or modifying a bathroom.

3. Home Repairs Program
Aging Services, Inc.
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Aging Services, Inc provides environmental modifications to help older adults continue living in their own homes. The goal is to improve the safety, sanitation, and adaptability of the home.

4. Home Services – Environmental Modifications
Clarion County Area Agency on Aging
Clarion, Pennsylvania
The Clarion County Area Agency on Aging assists with facilitating environmental modifications in older adults’ own home and improving safety, sanitation and adaptability of the home. The need for modification is determined by the care manager and Rehabilitation Specialist.

5. Minor and Major Home Modification Programs
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) Inc., the third largest Area Agency on Aging in the country, administers several home modification and repair programs. PCA’s history, reputation, and commitment to home modification for several decades has made it possible to develop programs with specific target populations and different types of services all under the auspices of one agency.

  • The Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP) started in 1980. It is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and Aging Services Block Grant Funds. SHARP provides minor repairs and adaptations to homes of older persons, providing up to $2,500 in home modifications and repairs.
  • The Caregivers’ Support Program (CSP), supported by state General Funds since1989, provides services in support of families caring for loved ones. In addition to services, this program can also provide up to $2,000 of home modifications and assistive devices.
  • The Options Care Management Program provides services and home modifications to persons with disabilities who are age 60 and older.
  • Through a Medicaid waiver, PCA has helped maintain nursing home clinically eligible and Medicaid financially eligible older persons in their own homes since 1996. Major and minor modifications are delivered to elderly individuals who are Medicaid-eligible.

6. Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit Program
Allegheny County Office of Property Assessments
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Residential Visitability Design Tax Credit program allows for local tax credits as incentives to foster new construction or renovation projects that create access for people with disabilities in residential housing.

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.