Home Modifications using Alaska's Senior Access Program

Page Reviewed / Updated - Mar. 2016

Program Description

The Senior Access Program (SAP) is designed to provide financial assistance to older Alaska residents to help them afford the cost of making home modifications.  Modifications, such as wheelchair ramps, grab bars, 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 longer in their homes or in a small assisted living facility.   The Senior Access Program is funded by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) and administered locally through 4 non-profit agencies (listed below). 

 

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 their geographic area's average household income.   For the last five years for all of Alaska, the average household income was $70,760, 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 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 varies 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, the amount is capped at $7,000. 

 

How to Apply / Learn More

The Senior Access Program is available statewide.  It is administered locally by the four agencies listed below.  To apply, one should contact the agency nearest them.   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.  It may be beneficial to also have a quote for the cost of the desired home modification as well.   Seniors can obtain walk-in tub modification quotes here, free of charge.

Name Regions Phone
Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services Anchorage 677-8490
Interior Regional Housing Authority Southeast Fairbanks & Yukon Koyukuk 452-8315
Rural CAP Northwest & Southwest 800-478-7227
Alaska Community Development Corporation Mat-Su, Kenai, Kodiak, Valdez, Denali, Fairbanks & Southeast Region 800-478-8080