The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program, abbreviated as SFRRP, provides funds (both loans and grants) for low- to middle-income D.C. homeowners to make needed home repairs / modifications. These funds, which are capped at $75,000 per household ($50,000 max in grants, plus loans), are intended to improve accessibility for disabled individuals and seniors, and make physical repairs, that if not corrected, would pose safety and health hazards.
While this program is not specifically intended to help aging seniors remain living at home, it still achieves that goal by paying for modifications that make bathrooms and stairways more accessible for frail, elderly persons.
The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program offers an additional benefit for seniors, in which $10,000 of a loan may be “permanently deferred.” Phrased another way, $10,000 of the loan does not have to be repaid. It is possible in some cases for an even greater amount to be “permanently deferred.”
In addition to the SFRRP program providing loans, there are two grant programs that fall under this program that are relevant for the elderly. These include the Roof Repair program and the Accessibility Improvement program.
SFRRP is administered by the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
To be eligible for these programs, there are several criteria that must be met, which include the following:
One must be a resident of Washington, D.C., own their home and have lived in it for a minimum of three years. They must have homeowner’s insurance and be up to date on paying all federal and district taxes. In addition, one must have a credit report that shows current payments on all mortgages for the last 12 months.
For the additional benefit for seniors, an individual must be 62 years of age or older.
For accessibility improvements, an individual must be at least 60 years of age or be a minimum of 18 years of age and disabled.
One’s income is also a deciding factor in eligibility. A single applicant may not have an annual income in excess of $70,550. A married couple’s annual income is limited to $80,650. At the time of this writing, the income limits had not yet increased from 2020, and it was unclear when the limits would increase. One’s credit score and payment history is also considered.
Both loans and grants (up to $75,000 in total) are available through the SFRRP program for home modifications and / or repairs. The loans, which can be up to 20 years, are zero to low-interest loans. Loans do not have to be paid back until the home is refinanced, transferred or sold. These loans and grants can be used for a variety of purposes. Examples include (but are not limited to) repairing one’s roof, fixing building code violations, and improving accessibility with the addition of wheelchair ramps, stair-lifts, and roll-in showers.
Under the Roof Repair program, one can receive a grant up to $20,000. This can be used to repair / replace exterior roofing and gutters.
Under the Accessibility Improvement program, seniors and / or disabled individuals can receive a grant up to $30,000 for home accessibility projects. For instance, one might need to widen doorways or replace a vanity sink with a pedestal sink to allow wheelchair access. Importantly, these improvements will allow individuals to age at home rather than being forced to move or being placed in a nursing home.
The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program allows households freedom in choosing who will do the repairs / home modifications, and DHCD oversees the project, including reviewing contractor bids. However, contractors must be licensed and certified.