When you're struggling to make ends meet, sometimes costly home repairs and adaptations can be unaffordable, even when they're necessary for health or safety reasons. Almost 7 per cent or more than 250,000 of Canada's seniors live in poverty, while 19 per cent live just above the poverty line, according to a 2005 report from the Canadian government's National Advisory Council on Aging. Several grants can help Canadian seniors pay for home repair costs.
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Senior Citizens Assistance Program
The Province of Nova Scotia offers home repair grants through its Senior Citizens Assistance Program. Repairs must improve the health or safety of a home and include such items as heating, plumbing and roofing, according to grant guidelines.
To qualify, seniors must be over age 65, have income below established regional guidelines, and must own and occupy the home. Grants range up to £3,250. The province also offers an emergency repair grant program to residents of rural areas. Emergency grants can be used for urgent repairs concerning health and safety hazards, such as wiring, heating, septic systems and wells. Emergency grants range up to £3,900.
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
5675 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1H1
Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers grants through the Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence program. Grants can be used to make minor repairs and adaptations that "help low-income seniors to perform daily activities in their home independently and safely," according to grant guidelines.
Eligible applicants include seniors over age 65 who are low income and experience age-related loss of ability. Adaptations and repairs must be permanent, increase access to a home's facilities and improve physical safety. Grants range up to £2,275.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
700 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P7
Provincial Home Repair Program
The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation office provides grants through the Provincial Home Repair Program. Grants can be used for repairs that improve home health and safety, bring homes up to minimum fire and life safety standards, and provide accessibility improvement repairs, according to grant guidelines.
Funds can be used for projects such as heating, electrical and plumbing services; deteriorated structures, foundations, windows, doors, roofing or siding; and to add accessibility elements such as handrails and ramps that will allow residents to remain in their homes longer. Low-income seniors are eligible to apply. Grants range to £4,875.
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
Sir Brian Dunfield Building
2 Canada Drive
St. John's, NL A1C 5J2
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- Government of Canada, National Advisory Council on Aging: Seniors on the Margins Aging in Poverty in Canada
- Nova Scotia Canada: Senior Citizens Assistance Program
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence
- Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation: Provincial Home Repair Program