The Senior Access Program (SAP), also known as the Senior Housing Modification Program or the Senior Housing Accessibility Modifications Program, is designed to provide financial assistance to older, low- to moderate-income Alaska residents to help them afford the cost of making home modifications.
Modifications — such as wheelchair ramps, grab bars, chair lifts / stair lifts, and roll-in showers — must be intended to increase a home’s accessibility for those with disabilities and those experiencing other challenges associated with aging.
The program’s larger objective is to reduce nursing home placements (and the associated costs) by helping the elderly remain living in their homes or in small assisted living facilities. The Senior Access Program is funded by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) and is administered locally through two non-profit agencies.
At the time of this rewrite, no new grant opportunities are available for the Senior Access Program. That said, the grants should be renewed in the near future.
The Senior Access Program is open to both homeowners and renters alike, although the maximum grant amount varies with each beneficiary group. Any home must be the applicant’s primary and principle residence, and the applicant must show proof that he or she owns the home or provide a rental agreement, in the event he or she rents the home.
Examples of eligible residences include:
The annual income of the household (not the individual) cannot exceed 100% of their geographic area’s average household income. According to the United States Census Bureau, the average two-person household income in Alaska for 2022 is $90,698. But this amount will change depending on the household size and the applicant’s geographic area.
Visit the Alaska page of the US Census Bureau’s website to see median income by county. It is worth noting that in cases of severe need, it is possible for households whose income exceeds these limits to receive a special waiver.
In addition to not exceeding the income limit, an applicant must have exhausted other possible sources of funding such as Medicaid, Medicare or the Veteran’s Administration.
Benefits are determined by the type of residence and the location/cost area. The cost area is divided into three categories: Moderate Cost Area, Intermediate Cost Area, High Cost Area. Alaska defines these areas as follows:
The grant amounts below are current as of January 2023
|Moderate Cost Area||Intermediate Cost Area||High Cost Area|
For assisted living facilities that are licensed by the state and have a maximum of five beds, the amount is capped at $10,000, and $20,000 total per assisted living facility.
The Senior Access Program is available statewide and is administered locally by the two agencies listed in the chart below. To apply, one should contact the agency nearest them. Project priority is determined by the agency providing services, but commonly priority is given in the order that applications are received.
|Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.||Southeast, Northern, & Southwest Economic Regions||800-478-7227|
|Alaska Community Development Corporation||Anchorage, Mat-Su, Fairbanks / North Pole, Kenai, Kodiak, Gulf Coast Economic Region, & Interior Economic Region||800-478-8080|
Additional information about this program is available here.