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
TENNESSEE COMMISSION ON AGING AND DISABILITY (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. Program(s) with home modification or repairs include:
Senior Trust/Elder Trust
Program Description: The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disabilities oversees the $36 million Senior Trust/Elder Trust related to the settlement of two court cases. Funding is granted to six different in-state organizations for the purposes of implementing statewide initiatives designed to improve older Tennesseans’ lives. Two organizations focus on home modification and repair: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis and Westminster Home Connection.
Population Served: Low-income older adults in Tennessee in need of home modification services.
DIVISION OF TENNCARE: MEDICAID
CHOICES in Long-Term Services and Supports
Program Description: CHOICES assists adults age 21 and older with a physical disability and adults age 65 and older to live independently in their community. Home and community-based services provided in the home include minor home modifications that support safer and easier functioning such as grab bars and wheelchair ramps.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible Tennessee residents age 21 years and older with a physical disability or age 65 or older.
TENNESSEE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (THDA)
1. Emergency Repair Program
Program Description: To stabilize a homeowner’s residence and make it more livable, the Emergency Repair Program corrects, repairs, or replaces an essential system and/or critical structural problem for low-income homeowners who are age 60 and older or persons with a disability. Bathroom modifications and ramps necessary for safe functioning and access are included.
Population Served: Low-income homeowners age 60 or older or persons with a disability of any age.
2. Flexible Home Concepts Program
Program Description: This voluntary certification program is designed to encourage builders of new single or multi-family homes to voluntarily include design features which make a home accessible, visitable and convenient for everyone. The certified home must have the following features included in its design: 1) easy access with a step-free entrance of not more than ½ inch from a driveway, sidewalk or other firm surface into the main floor of the home; 2) easy passage throughout the home with an exterior door that provides a minimum of 32 inches of clear passage (36 inches is preferable) from the step-free entrance. All interior passage doorways on the main floor also provide a minimum of 32 inches of clear passage; and 3) easy use with a main floor that includes a kitchen, some entertainment area, at least one bedroom and one full bathroom. The full bathroom will provide at least 30” by 48” of maneuvering space that allows easy access to the sink, commode and shower or tub.
Population Served: Tennessee homeowners.
3. Tennessee Housing Trust Fund/Home Modifications and Ramps Program
Program Description: This Tennessee Housing Development Agency program provides funding for home modifications and repairs for low- and very low- income older adults, persons with disabilities, and persons with special needs. The statewide Home Modifications and Ramps Program is administered by United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee. It provides funding for ramp construction and other home modifications that assist persons with disabilities to maintain their independence.
Population Served: Tennesseans with any disability that results in mobility impairment and the need for a wheelchair ramp who meet the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund’s household income criteria.
4. Tennessee Repair Loan Program
Program Description: This program provides loans of up to $25,000 with 5% interest rates for repairs or modifications to provide safe and supportive housing.
Population Served: Low-income veterans, older adults, and homeowners with special needs who have owned the home for at least five years.
TENNESSEE STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP)
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.
TENNESSEE STATE FALL PREVENTION COALITION
Tennessee Fall Prevention Initiatives
For an up to date list of all state fall prevention coalitions, visit: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/list-of-state-falls-prevention-coalitions/