What you need to know about grants for seniors’ housing repairs
Some Canadians who reach retirement age find it difficult to finance the upkeep and maintenance of the homes they have owned and lived in for a long time. This can be stressful and difficult to manage, even with pension benefits. In recognition of this, several different initiatives across the country offer grants for seniors’ housing repairs and help them stay in their homes longer. We have collated information about how grants for seniors’ housing repairs work, different ways to claim them, and the best way to utilize them.
How do grants for seniors’ housing repairs work?
While many grants for seniors’ housing repairs are available in the market, they are offered mainly on the provincial and sometimes the municipal government level. The home repair assistance programs you qualify for will depend on where you live, which makes it difficult to point out specific home improvement grants for seniors that apply across Canada. Most seniors’ housing repair grants cover the entire cost of living, not just home repair or renovations. You can also check with your local government to see if there are any grants for seniors’ housing repairs offered in your area.
How do I qualify for a seniors’ housing repair grant?
Usually to qualify for a seniors’ housing repair grant, you will need to meet some essential criteria. The two critical factors are your age, and income. As the name suggests, these grants are only available to senior citizens. Some provinces consider you a senior citizen if you are 55 years or older, but some provinces like Ontario only consider you a senior citizen when you turn 65. Make sure to double-check the qualifying age for senior citizen benefits in your province or territory to know if you qualify for any seniors’ housing repair grant.
Your income is also a significant factor in determining if you qualify for home improvement grants designed for seniors. These programs usually require you earn below a certain income bracket to qualify. The specific income varies across provinces and territories. You will need to look at each program you plan to apply for to know if you meet the income requirements.
Notable grants for seniors housing repairs
Here are some home repair assistance programs for seniors that are worth noting. They provide varying amounts of assistance and have different qualification criteria but can be very helpful in repairing, renovating, or installing new features.
Property Tax Deferral Program in Ottawa
If you are a senior with a low income or a disability and have owned your home for at least a year, you can qualify for a partial or complete property tax deferral in Ottawa. This can help you save a significant amount of money yearly if your home is in or around the capital.
Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit are not specifically designed for seniors’ housing repairs. However, all Ontario residents can qualify for the credit when filing their taxes. Seniors can receive a maximum credit of up to $1,247 that can be helpful for individuals looking to do minor repair work.
Home Repair Program in Ontario
This program offers grants for seniors’ housing repairs in the York Region of Ontario. You can receive up to $7,500 per year and $15,000 as a lifetime maximum towards critical repairs and modifications for accessibility. These include the addition of ramps, stairlifts, grab bars, and other features.
Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities in B.C.
This long-standing program in British Columbia offers grants for seniors’ housing repairs through a refundable personal income tax credit. As long as you are a resident of B.C., a senior, or someone with a disability, you will qualify for this grant. You can receive up to $1,000 yearly in credits to help reduce the financial burden of housing repairs and renovations.
Seniors Home Adaptation and Home Repair Program in Alberta
This is amongst the highest paying grants for seniors’ housing repairs in Canada, as it provides up to $40,000 as a loan that does not need to be repaid as long as you keep the home you are in as your primary residence and continue to own it in your name. To qualify, you need to be a senior Alberta resident with an income of $75,000 or less per year.
The best use of seniors’ housing repairs programs
Several helpful programs offer grants for seniors’ housing repairs. Unfortunately, most of them do not offer enough to cover renovations or essential maintenance cost. In cases like these, it’s clear that the grants are best used to supplement the living costs or to ease the financial burden on your expenses. While grants for seniors’ housing repairs are widely available across the country, they are particular to where you live. In addition, often, they do not provide enough help for you to pay for the necessary renovations or repairs. If you are a senior citizen and own a property, you can consider tapping into your home equity. Alpine Credits can help you find the financing you need to maintain your home.