Many seniors in Canada struggle to afford home repairs and adaptations. Nearly 7% of the country’s 250,000 seniors are living in poverty and 19% are living just above the poverty line. Many service providers such as Affordable Air & Heat offer financing for repairs, but not all do. Even when financing is offered, many seniors still do not qualify.
Fortunately, there are several grants available that can help seniors pay for necessary home repairs and adaptations.
1. Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence
For home adaptations, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides grants to low-income seniors through its Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence program. These grants can be used for adaptations and minor repairs that will help seniors “perform daily activities in their home independently and safely.”
Seniors may qualify for grants up to $3,500.
Seniors must be considered low-income, aged 65 or older and have experienced an age-related loss of ability. All adaptations and repairs must be permanent, improve physical safety and improve access to the home’s facilities.
2. Senior Citizens Assistance Program
Seniors living in the province of Nova Scotia may qualify for the Senior Citizens Assistance Program, which offers grants up to $6,500.
The program helps seniors aged 65 or older make repairs that will allow them to stay in their homes. The funding covers repairs that are vital to health and safety, including: plumbing, roofing and heating. Cosmetic home repairs are not covered by the grant.
To be eligible, seniors must be aged 65 or older, have owned and lived in their homes for at least a year, and have a total household income that is below the established income limit. The income limit depends on the size of the household and where the senior lives.
3. Provincial Home Repair Program
The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) offers the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) that helps low-income homeowners make repairs and bring their homes up to fire and life safety standards. Repairs can include plumbing, heating, electrical, foundations, doors, windows, siding and roofing.
This particular program does not cover accessibility changes, but the NLHC does help with this through their Home Modification Program (HMP).
To be eligible, homeowners must be considered low-income and have owned and lived in the home for at least five years.
The funding is available in the form of a forgivable and repayable loan. Forgivable loan funding limits are $5,000 and $6,500 in Labrador. Repairs exceeding this amount can be covered under a repayable loan up to $12,500 and $15,000 in Labrador.
4. Emergency Repair Program
The Emergency Repair Program (ERP) is available through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for low-income, on-reserve households to make emergency repairs.
To qualify, the homeowner must be a First Nation member living on-reserve and have a household income that is within or below the established range for household size and region.
The program covers a wide range of emergency repairs, which can include heating systems, foundations, exterior walls, roofing, flooring, electrical and wiring systems, and plumbing problems. Grants of up to $20,000 are available for repairs.