The proposed Seniors’ Home Adaptation and Repair Act would enable a new low-interest home equity loan program to help seniors improve the safety and sustainability of their homes.
Bill 5, the Seniors’ Home Adaptation and Repair program would allow senior homeowners, who qualify, to finance essential home repairs and adaptations, including:
- Widening doorways or hallways
- Installing walk-in tubs
- Roof replacements
- Electrical repairs
About 145,000 senior households would be eligible for the loan program. Under the program, seniors would not be required to pay monthly loan payments as they would with traditional loan programs.
“Home should mean comfort and security for all of us. For many seniors, being able to remain in their homes for as long as they choose, or are physically able, is vital to their independence and quality of life. Our home adaptation and repair program would help seniors stay at home. This program addresses the needs and priorities of an aging population.”
“Seniors United Now embraces the proposed Seniors’ Home Adaptation and Repair program. A loan for needed repairs and modifications to seniors’ homes can assist them to remain in the comfort and safety of their homes for a longer period of time, which will greatly benefit many Alberta seniors.”
“Research consistently shows that seniors prefer to age in their homes, so it is critical that seniors are able to adapt and maintain their homes to meet their changing needs over time. The proposed Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program is a crucial step towards making aging in the right place a possibility for all Alberta seniors.”
Under the proposed program, a maximum home equity loan of $40,000 would be available to seniors with a qualifying income threshold of $75,000, and who have a minimum 25 per cent home equity.
Low-income seniors who do not qualify under the loan program may still be eligible for a grant to help finance necessary home repairs.
The proposed loan program will offer measures to protect consumers, including provisions to review the reasonableness of the costs of the home repair as well as the right to cancel contracts.
If passed, the Seniors’ Home Adaptation and Repair program will be effective July 1, 2016.