Page Reviewed / Updated – May 12, 2020

Program Description

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, which are listed below.

*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.

Eligibility Guidelines

To facilitate understanding of the Senior Access Program’s eligibility requirements, qualifiers are organized into three categories.

1) Financial Requirements – 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 household income in Alaska from 2014 through 2018 was $76,715, but one should not consider this a hard limit as income is adjusted for the household size and the applicant’s geographic area. Visit the Alaska page of the US Census 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.

2) Property Requirements – The Senior Access Program is open to both homeowners and renters alike, although the maximum grant amount does vary with each beneficiary group. Single family homes, duplexes, and buildings with up to four residences are eligible. State licensed assisted living facilities, with no more than five beds, are also eligible.  However, any home must be the applicant’s primary and principle residence. An 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.

3) Other Requirements

  • Applicants must be at least 55 years old and residents of Alaska. 
  • A current need must exist.  The applicant cannot be anticipating a future need.
  • Applicants must have exhausted other possible sources of funding such as Medicaid, Medicare or the Veteran’s Administration.
  • Applicants must have a written letter from a medical or administrative professional that documents their need for the modification.

Benefits and Services

Grant amounts for homeowners are capped at $15,000. For renters, the limit is slightly lower at $10,000. For assisted living facilities that are licensed by the state and have a maximum of five beds, the amount is capped at $7,000. 

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How to Apply / Learn More

The Senior Access Program is available statewide, and is administered locally by two agencies. As mentioned previously, this information is found 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 applications are received. Some limited additional information about this program is available here

Applicants are required to obtain certifying documentation of need, complete a Household Needs Questionnaire, and present a Scope of Work (the modification that is needed, the location in the home, and the approximate cost). It may be beneficial to also have a quote for the cost of the desired home modification as well.   Seniors may obtain walk-in tub modification quotes here, free of charge.

Name Regions Phone
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

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