The Iowa Able (IowAble) Foundation Loan Program provides low interest loans to Iowa residents and / or their legal representatives in order to make home modifications or purchase assistive technology. The purpose of these loans is to help disabled individuals of all ages and seniors remain living at home or in the home of a family member or friend instead of having to move to a residential care home. Modifications include equipment such as stair-lifts, walk-in tubs, and wheelchair ramps.
This program does not provide direct financial grants, rather it should be thought of as an alternative to other, higher interest bank loans. The applicant must be approved and the loan must be repaid. The major difference between the Iowa Able loan and a normal bank loan is the interest rate for the Iowa Able loan program is well below that which the loan applicant would be able to obtain on the open market. In addition, loans can be made to family members should the individual in need of assistance not be in a financial position to qualify for a loan.
To qualify for this program, applicants or their representatives must be legal residents of Iowa who are old enough to enter into a contract. Therefore, one should be at least 18 years of age. Applicants 18 to 54 years old must have a diagnosis, disability, or long-term condition, while this is not a requirement for those 55 years of age and older. Evidence of how the loan will be used to purchase assistive technology or to make home modifications must be provided.
While being employed is not necessarily required to receive the loan, the ability to pay back a loan must be demonstrated. The applicant’s income and past credit history are major consideration factors. If the applicant cannot qualify, it is possible to have co-signers such as family members, especially those with whom the care recipient resides. Owning a home is not necessary to participate in this program. Renters must simply have landlord approval for making modifications.
Loans range from $500 to $25,000, but most loans are made for amounts less than $10,000. While it is possible to receive loans for higher amounts, the consideration process is more thorough. The loans can be used to make home modifications and repairs or to purchase assistive technology.
The definition of assistive technology is quite broad and nearly any device, machine, or material that helps the individual increase or maintain their independence or safety is included. For example, motorized wheelchairs or scooters, wheelchair ramps, vehicle modifications, slip resistant flooring, hearing aids, walk in tubs, and other bathroom safety modifications are eligible projects under this program.
As most bathroom modifications can be expensive, a quote for the project must be obtained prior to approval. Interested candidates can receive free quotes for bathroom modifications here, and stair-lifts here.