If you own your home and require modifications to accommodate a person with a disability, you may qualify for an interest-free loan from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These no-interest loans are designed to modify homes of adults and children with disabilities so that they may remain at home and live more independently in the community.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say your loved one is in a wheelchair and a ramp is needed. You get an estimate and find that the ramp costs $800 plus installation plus widening of two doorways. Total cost $4000. You apply for a state Home Modification Loan.
In order to qualify, you must own your home. The application includes a statement from a medical professional to verify that the ramp is needed. No lawyer is needed. If you rent, your landlord may apply for a low interest (3%) loan through the same program.
If you are approved for the loan, a “lien” for the $4000 is put on your home and the work is done. Repayment of the loan is on very generous terms to the home owner. No monthly payments are required. The contactor who does the work is paid directly by the Commonwealth. When the home is eventually sold, the Commonwealth gets its $4000 back (no interest) from the sale of the home.
John Natale of Natale Company Safety Care said, “This program is an invaluable resource for folks with accessibility needs who own their own home but don’t have the funding for accessibility modifications.”
Home modifications may include ramps, lifts, showers and other bathroom modifications.
The Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) is administered by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. For more information, go to the Mass. Rehab. Commission at Mass.gov. In our county the program is administered through Community Teamwork (978-654-5741). Your AFC team can help you make the initial call.