Home Modification / Assessment & Resources

Here is a list of resources to help with home modification.

Home Design & Assessments

Solutions for Accessibility
Jackie Dobson, founder of Solutions integrates her expertise in residential design, adaptable design, universal design and visitability to develop a home that maximizes your independence and autonomy. Starting with an initial consultation and discussion of potential options for changes in the environment and products to suit one’s specific needs, the project continues with space planning, schematics and specifications, thus allowing the homeowner to get comparable bids, with a plan that’s been customized to theirs and their family’s needs.
119 Poplar Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-923-8877
Email Dobson@SolutionsForAccess.com

Safe Home Connections
Utilizing the concept of a universal home environment, Safe Home Connections will help make your living environment safe and healthful in a manner that does not sacrifice style for function.  Trained professionals will perform an on-site evaluation and thoroughly examine every aspect of your home for safety and accessibility.  SHC will pepare a complete report of findings and recommendations.
Wilmington MA 01887
Phone: 978-658-2131
Email Rena Hannaford at rhannaford@safehomeconnections

Living Solutions Corporation (LSC)
LSC provides a personalized home assessment by a registered therapist for any potential barriers, provide suggestions for potential assistive devices and / or home modifications to enhance independence and safety.
Contact: Angela Tavares, RN, BSN, President
Phone: 774-226-6528

Volunteer Programs

Rebuilding TogetherNonprofit organization, using community resources and volunteers to provide free home modifications and repairs for elders and individuals with disabilities.
The following communities in Massachusetts have local Rebuilding Together chapters:
Boston: 617-971-0058
Worcester: (413) 283-6709
Haverhill: 978-469-0800

Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program in Massachusetts:

Handicap Ramp Programs

Freemason’s Friendship Lodge’s Handicap Ramp Program in Wilmington
As a result of donations to Friendship Lodge from homeowners who no longer needed their ramps, we now have handicap ramps that have been installed at local homes, and one that is currently available to be installed in your home if you need it.  The ramps can be modified and installed at your home generally within a couple of hours.  This service again is provided absolutely FREE. You do not need to live in Wilmington to have a ramp installed at your home.  If we have the equipment and we can get it to your house then you can rest assured it will be installed by a group of dedicated volunteers from Friendship Lodge.  You are probably saying “wow what a great service for the community but how can I get these services?”   The simple answer is all you need to do is just ask by contacting Friendship Lodge at 978-658-6731.

Western Massachusetts: Stavros’ Home Sweet Home Program
Benefits many of the folks in western Massachusetts (Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties) who are in need of wheelchair ramps and durable medical equipment to access safely their homes and community The ramp program is a coordinated effort of volunteers, donated funds and donated materials. Modular ramp units are built and then installed at slated locations. For more information, e-mail Lois Brown, lbrown@stavros.org, at Stavros or call her at 800-804-1899, ext. 240

Vocational High Schools
May build ramps, stair lifts, etc. at little or no cost.

Home Depot’s “Team Depot”
May build ramps, stair lifts, etc. at little to no cost. Will only respond to requests made by a sponsoring agency. Any combination of financial assistance, manpower, or materials. https://corporate.homedepot.com/community
The “Team Depot also helps veterans.

Adaptive Housing Program

MRC’s Adaptive Housing Program FAQ

Financial Loan Programs

Loan programs funded by public and private sources are available for purchasing AT, durable medical equipment (DME), home modifications, vehicles and vehicle modifications.

Home Modification Loan Program
The Home Modification Loan Program provides low- and no-interest loans to modify the homes of elders, adults and children with disabilities. Such home modifications allow individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and live independently in their communities. Any homeowner who has a disability or has a household member who has a disability, or rents to an individual with a disability may apply for this loan.

Landlords may apply to support the needs of a tenant, provided they have less than ten aprtments in their building.
Contact: Susan Gillam at 617-204-3739 or via email at Susan.Gillam@MRC.state.ma.us or visit the website for more information.
Regional Provider Agencies

Easter Seals MA AT Loan
Offers Massachusetts residents with disabilities and their families low-interest cash loans they can use to purchase assistive technology, devices and services that will increase their independence.  The program also loans low-cost assistive devices through its Long-Term Device Loan Program.

Mass Housing, Home Improvement Loan Program
Mass Housing is the state’s affordable housing bank. They lend money at rates below the conventional market to support affordable rental and home ownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents of Massachusetts. The Home Improvement Loan Program provides funds to make general, non-luxury improvements to your property, which include necessary home modifications.
Phone: 617-854-1000

Possible Financial Assistance Resources

Catastrophic Illness in Children’s Relief Fund (CICRF)
Program at the Mass. Department of Public Health and may provide financial reimbursement for a variety of medically realated expenses that are directly related to a child’s healthcare needs, including home modifications.  CICRF is a payer of last resort. It provides financial assistance for Massachusetts families with children experiencing a medical condition requiring services that are not covered by a private insurer, federal or state assistance, or any other financial source.  Call the DPH Community Support Line at 800-882-1435.

MA State Knights of Columbus Charity Fund
Established to assist persons with intellectual disabilities, regardless of age, and children with physical handicaps who have not reached their 20th birthday.   Maximum grant for handicapped ramps, wheelchair van conversions and stair lifts maximum amount of $7,000. The work CANNOT have been started or previously completed in order to be eligible.  Additional requirements, including two quotations, are required to be considered for the charity fund.  This process typically takes a minimum of two-three months, so plan early!

Mass.gov Various Funding Sources for Home Modifications

Community Development Block Grants
Are available in many communities across Massachusetts and may provide funding for home modifications.

Solicit the help of a group of good friends or family members and start the ball rolling!  Many online websites are available for a nominal fee or percentage of the profits and you could be on your way. Elect a chairperson and a committee that does not include the family caregiver.  Check out sites such as: FirstGiving,and GoFundMe.

Tax Deductions
For any expenses related to the home modifications and paid out of personal savings, you may be eligible for Internal Revenue Service deductions under medical expenses (capital expenses). You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for special equipment installed in your home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent.  The cost of permanent improvements that increase the value of your property may be partly included as a medical expense.  The cost of the improvement is reduced by the increase in the value of your property.  The difference is a medical expense.  If the value of your property is not increased by the improvement, the entire cost is included as a medical expense.  IRS Publication 502 Capital Expenses.

Massachusetts Aging and Disabilities Information Locator
The Massachusetts Aging and Disability Information Locator is a public service of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The MADIL is designed to help find information on services and programs that support seniors and people with disabilities in Massachusetts.  This site provides links to a variety of local services.  Two excellent local sources of information are the Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) and the Independent Living Center serving the specific community.  They both employ individuals who are trained Options Counselors knowledgeable in an array of services, supports, and resources for elders and persons with disabilities.

To obtain contact information regarding for the local ASAP; Find Your Regional Elder Care Agency.  ASAPs provide information for both elders and younger persons with disabilities through their participation as a member of the regional Aging and Disability Resource Consortium.

Accessibility Guideline Links

ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG)

Fair Housing Act Design Manual (pdf): A Manual to Assist Designers & Builders in Meeting the Accessibility Requirements of The Fair Housing Act
Clear and helpful guidance about ways to design and construct housing that complies with the FHA. Includes the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines and Questions and Answers about the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines. Contact HUD USER at 800-245-2691 if you need assistance downloading the document manual or to order a CD for $5.

Fact Sheet last updated on: 12/14/2016