Studies show residents want to live where they choose for life. Living at home increasingly challenges us as we age—often unnoticeably until a fall occurs. Stairs hurt aging knees. Bending to use a tub or toilet makes us unsteady and anxious, because our strength and coordination are not what they used to be. Not only do homes become barriers to aging at home, people of any age with disabilities know how difficult living at home can be. Home accessibility improvements such as ramps, grab bars, barrier-free showers, and assistive aids can be the difference between living where we want and having to move.
Grants funded by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority through the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are available to make homes more accessible. Alaska Community Development Corporation (Alaska CDC) provides the Housing Accessibility Improvement Program (HAIP) grant and is seeking applicants from the Seward area to serve this year.
HAIP grant recipients can be any age and are not required to have an official disability determination. Recipients may have been diagnosed with a physical or cognitive disability or may be losing mobility, vision, hearing, or cognition due to an accident, illness, or aging. There is no income limit. The home can be owner-occupied or rented.
Alaska CDC assesses a resident’s home accessibility needs, writes a work scope, solicits bids from properly licensed and insured contractors, and inspects the work—all paid by the grant. For an application, contact the Seward Senior Center or Melissa Kline at the Independent Living Center by calling 907-262-6333 by June 30, 2019.