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
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT FOR AGING AND REHABILITATIVE 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 (OAA) funds, which may be used to support home modification or repair services through local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and other state and local entities.
In Virginia, eight of 25 AAAs provide “residential repair and renovation” services using Older Americans Act funds and an additional 3 AAAs provide home modification services with other funding sources.
Virginia Falls Prevention Coalition
Program Description: The Virginia State Unit on Aging is a partner in the Virginia Falls Prevention Coalition. The goal is to increase awareness of fall risk factors, promote access to fall prevention interventions (including home modifications) and empower older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers to engage in activities to reduce the risk and incidence of falls.
Population Served: Older Virginians, Virginians with a disability, and caregivers.
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
1. Emergency Home and Accessibility Repair Program (EHARP)
Program Description: This statewide Program provides funding to local administrators to make physical repairs that improve housing conditions. While the focus is on removing urgent, emergency health and safety hazards, it also addresses physical accessibility barriers. Eligible repairs can include plumbing, structural, electrical and roofing, as well as the installation of wheelchair ramps and other accessibility modifications.
Population Served: Homeowners and renters (with homeowner written approval) with total gross household income from all sources not exceeding 80% of area median income, adjusted for family size, which is currently determined by HUD. The maximum assistance is $4,000.
2. The Virginia Livable Home Tax Credit (LHTC)
Program Description: The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the State of Virginia earmarked $1,000,000/year for this tax credit which covers home modifications including accessible entrances, widening doors and hallways, and changes to the bathroom and kitchen to improve accessibility. Tax credits are available for up to $5,000 for the purchase of a new accessible residence and up to 50% for the cost of retrofitting existing units, not to exceed $5,000.
Population Served: Individuals or licensed contractors filing Virginia income tax returns who have incurred costs for the purchase or construction of new residential units with accessibility or universal visitability features, or for the retrofitting of existing residential units with these features, on or after January 1, 2008. New residential units must include at least three features of the universal visitability standards, or include at least three accessibility features. Existing units being retrofitted must include at least one accessibility or visitability feature. All accessibility and universal visitability features must be completed in conformity with the provisions of Virginia’s Uniform Statewide Building Code. Accessibility features that are provided in order to comply with existing Fair Housing, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Act, or other local, state or federal requirements are not eligible for tax credits.
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES
Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC) Plus Waiver
Program Description: This Medicaid Waiver provides community-based services and care in home settings rather than in institutions. Home modifications of up to $5,000 per individual per calendar year may be provided.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible individuals who meet a nursing facility level of care.
VIRGINIA HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
1. Granting Freedom: Virginia Military Home Modification Grant Program
Program Description: Through a partnership with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, the Virginia Housing Development Authority has a grant program for home modifications for veterans with a disability and service members who sustained a line-of-duty injury resulting in a service-connected disability.
Population Served: Virginia veterans and servicemembers who sustained a line-of-duty injury resulting in a service-connected disability.
2. Rental Unit Accessibility Modification Grant Program
Program Description: The Virginia Housing Development Authority offers accessibility grants to eligible people with disabilities who are renting their homes. Grants of up to $6,000 may be used to install ramps, grab bars and other modifications to support independent living.
Population Served: Renters with disabilities who earn 80% or less of the area median income.
VIRGINIA STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS)
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.
VIRGINIA STATE FALL PREVENTION COALITION
Virginia Falls Prevention Coalition (see description above)
For an up to date list of all state fall prevention coalitions, visit: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/list-of-state-falls-prevention-coalitions/