The Maine State Housing Authority offers the MaineHousing’s Home Accessibility and Repair Program. The objective of this program is to help low income homeowners maintain their homes in good repair and minimize safety risks associated with their homes. This program is relevant to seniors wishing to age in place and to families caring for loved ones at home. Grants can be used to make home modifications, not just for structural improvements but also to improve disability access.
Home modifications include projects such as the addition of a wheelchair ramp to the home’s exterior, the widening of doorways and access points to allow wheelchair access in the home’s interior, and bathroom modifications such as the addition of a walk-in tub (with transfer bench), hand rails, modified toilet etc. Stair-lifts, platform lifts and home elevators are possibilities for two-story homes or second story apartments in which staircases cannot be avoided.
To be eligible for this program, there are several different requirements.
This program does not consider the functional ability or disabilities of the applicant as a qualifying factor. However, prioritization may be given to individuals who are expected to remain living in their homes for an extended period of time (as opposed to those who may be moving into an assisted living or a nursing home community).
Financial eligibility is based on the candidate’s household income. Income limits change annually and are based on household size and the area of Maine in which the applicant resides. Typically, individuals qualify if their income is less than 80% of the median income for their area.
In 2023, 80% AMI income limits for Maine range from $42,450-$66,300 for single households, up to $75,750 for two-person households. Detailed town-by-town income limits are available here.
The amount of assistance can vary based on need, location within the state, and the amount of funding that is available. Most areas set a maximum limit on the grant size at $30,000 for home repairs, $15,000 for accessibility projects, and $15,000 for emergency situations.
The funds can be applied toward a wide range of home safety improvements, such as plumbing, heating, roof, well, and electrical repairs, but most relevant are modifications to help elderly and disabled individuals improve access into and within their homes.