With the 2015 White House Conference on Aging underway today, Councilmember Charles Allen plans to introduce legislation tomorrow at the DC Council to help District seniors make safety and accessibility modifications to their homes with grants of up to $10,000.
Councilmember Allen’s Safe At Home Act will help reduce preventable falls and injuries by financing modestly-priced but essential home accessibility modifications such as ramps, grab bars, and barrier-free doors and door handles. Income-eligible residents – both homeowners and tenants with landlord permission – can receive grants to make accessibility modifications quickly, with an application turnaround time of only sixty days.
“If DC is going to be a place that everyone can always call home, we need to make sure seniors can afford the inexpensive changes to their homes needed to safely age in place. These may be low cost, but they often mean the difference between being able to stay in your home or having to leave. Making sure seniors can install simple modifications to help prevent falls and unnecessary hospitalizations will make DC a more age-friendly place to grow old at home,” said Councilmember Allen.
The bill also includes a Safe at Home tax credit for homeowners who pay outright to make accessibility modifications to their homes, allowing those residents to receive a tax credit of 50 percent of the modification cost or $5,000, whichever is less. Councilmember Anita Bonds, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development, and Councilmember Jack Evans, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue, will co-introduce the bill.