The Vermont Center for Independent Living’s (VCIL) Home Access Program (HAP) is a statewide program for physically disabled low-income residents of Vermont. HAP is intended to help individuals with disabilities to live independently in their own homes. The program’s focus is on making modifications to an individual’s bathroom and home entrance, making these areas more accessible. While the Home Access Program is not specifically designed for the elderly, a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, stroke, or Parkinson’s disease is considered a disability for eligibility purposes, and is commonly seen in elderly individuals.
VCIL is also behind the Sue Williams Freedom Fund (SWFF) program, which is similar to HAP. Through SWFF, funding for items and services are provided for eligible disabled applicants. These may include items such as mobility aids like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, cooking aids, as well as modifications to a vehicle, such as grab bars, ramps, and special steering stations.
HAP and SWFF are funded by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Department of Disabilities Aging and Independent Living.
In order to be eligible for the Home Access Program and / or the Sue Williams Freedom Fund, an individual must be a physically disabled resident of Vermont.
Neither the age of the applicant nor their home ownership status is considered as eligibility factors for these programs.
HAP and SWFF income eligibility guidelines require that the individual’s income be no greater than 80% of the HUD median average in the geographic location in which the individual resides.
As of January 2023, for an individual household, income limits range from $48,000 to $61,100, depending on county. The income limits are slightly higher for a two-person household. Find your county’s income limit here.
The benefits and services of the Home Access Program are determined by individual needs. This might mean an addition of an entry ramp to the front of a home, increasing the width of steps, an addition of a pedestal sink (to allow wheelchair access), adding a built-in shower seat, a shower attachment that is handheld, a higher toilet seat, and/or grab bars. The maximum allowable allowance per eligible individual is $15,000.
For the SWFF program, the maximum allowable allowance per eligible individual is $1,500. SWFF helps with equipment like dentures, air purifiers, and scooters, among other items.
For more information about the VCIL Home Access Program or the Sue Williams Freedom Fund, contact the Vermont Center for Independent Living at 802-224-1827. More information about the HAP program can also be found here, while information about the SWFF program can be found here.
Due to high demand, expect a long wait list for both the Home Access Program and Sue Williams Freedom Fund.