Home modifications are not typically covered by health insurance or Medicare. This means that many people must pay for them out of their own pocket. However, if you know where to look, it may be possible to find alternative funding sources for your home modifications. Listed below are some potential sources for home modification funding. Often times, funding options will vary depending on which state, county and city that you live in. Beyond Barriers can help you determine what funding assistance you may qualify for.
If you have any questions regarding funding sources for home modifications, please contact Beyond Barriers toll-free at 1-800-561-2223.
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Home Improvement Loans for Minnesota Homeowners
Minnesota Housing offers two financing programs for homeowners looking to make improvements on their homes including home modifications for accessibility. These programs are the Fix-Up Fund and the Rehabilitation Loan Program.
Fix-Up Fund Features
- Hire a contractor or do the work yourself
- Maximum loan term of 10 to 20 years based on the loan amount
- Loan amounts of $2,000 to $50,000
- Unsecured loans up to $15,000
- Credit Score of 680 for unsecured loans and 620 for secured loans
- Convenient application through our statewide network of local lenders
Energy/Accessibility Loan Features
- No income limit
- Maximum loan amount of $15,000
- 10 to 20 year repayment terms
- Credit score of 620
- Lower interest rates than other loans offered by MN Housing Finance Agency
Rehabilitation Loan Features
- Maximum loan amount is $27,000
- Maximum loan term is 15 years for properties taxed as real property and 10 years for mobile/manufactured homes taxed as personal property located in a mobile home park.
- Can be used for rehabilitation of:
- single-family homes
- an eligible one-unit dwelling in an eligible Planned Unit Development (PUD)
- a condominium unit
- manufactured housing taxed as real or personal property
- All loans are forgiven if the borrower does not sell, transfer title, or ceases to occupy the property during the loan term.
For more information and eligibility requirements, visit the Minnesota Housing Finance agency website.
Homeservices Lending, LLC
A home improvement loan through Homeservices Lending can help you pay for simple jobs or more complex remodeling to renovate your home. Financing may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor on the deductibility of interest). Monthly payments are typically lower than credit cards or personal loans because the cost is spread over the entire length of your loan.
Perhaps you’d like to:
- Update a home’s features or enjoy more living space while remaining in a familiar neighborhood.
- Make a home more accessible or create a separate living area for another family member.
- Personalize your home to fit your lifestyle by finishing a basement or adding an attic bedroom.
- Buy a foreclosure or a short sale and plan improvements to make the home fit your needs and tastes.
You can certainly pay for home improvements with a personal loan or other types of financing. However, these methods may have higher interest rates, which can result in higher monthly payments. Paying with cash ties up funds that could be in an interest-producing account for emergencies. Consider all of your options so you can make an informed decision.
Edina Realty Mortgage
6800 France Avenue South, Suite 600, Edina, MN 55435
Manager: Joe E. Brown – NMLS 517085
Office Phone: 952-928-5563
Wisconsin IRIS Program is a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services
The IRIS Program is a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver for self-directed long-term supports. The program is an option for adults with long term care needs. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Medicaid Services (DMS), Office of IRIS Management under the authorization of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is responsible for oversight of the IRIS program. IRIS is available to Wisconsin residents determined financially eligible for Medicaid, functionally in need of nursing home or Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) level of care; and living in a county where managed long-term care and IRIS are available. People who are eligible have the choice of IRIS or managed care through their local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).
For more information about the IRIS Program, contact:
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Division of Medicaid Services
Office of IRIS Management
1 West Wilson Street, Room 655
P.O. Box 7851
Madison WI 53707-7851
Fax #: 608-224-5727
DHSIRIS@wisconsin.gov (link sends e-mail)
For information on how to apply for the IRIS Program, contact your local ADRC to see if you may be eligible.
People who are enrolled in IRIS who are seeking assistance should contact their IRIS Consultant or the IRIS Service Center at 1-888-515-IRIS (4747).
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
Veterans who have specific service-connected disabilities may be entitled to a grant to meet their adaptive needs. The goal of the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant Program is to provide a barrier-free living environment which affords the veteran a level of independent living that he or she may not have otherwise enjoyed. The SAH grant is generally used to create a wheelchair accessible home. This grant is currently limited to $63,780.
The SAH grant is available to veterans who have a service-connected disability due to military service, entitling them to compensation for permanent and total disability due to:
- The loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair, or
- Blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, or
- The loss or loss of use of one lower extremity together with (1) residuals of organic disease or injury, or (2) the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair or,
- The loss or loss of use of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbow.
Special Home Adaptations (SHA) Grant
Veterans who have specific service-connected disabilities may be entitled to a grant for the purpose of modifying an existing home to meet their adaptive needs. The Special Home Adaptations (SHA) grant is generally used to assist veterans with mobility throughout their homes. This grant is currently limited to $12,756.
The SHA grant is available to veterans who have service-connected disability due to military service, entitling them to compensation for permanent and total disability due to:
- Blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less or,
- The anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands or extremities below the elbow.
Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant
Under the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program, veterans with service-connected disabilities or veterans with non-service-connected disabilities may receive assistance for any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. A HISA grant is available to veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of his/her disability. A veteran may receive both a HISA grant and either a SHA or SAH grant.
The HISA program is available for both service-connected veterans and non service-connected veterans.
- Home improvement benefits up to $4,100 may be provided to service-connected veterans.
- Home improvement benefits up to $1,200 may be provided to non-service-connected veterans.
How Can You Apply?
You can apply for the SAH and SHA grants by completing VA Form 26-4555, Veterans Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant, and submitting it to your local VA regional office. You can apply for a HISA grant by completed VA Form 10-0103, Veterans Application for Assistance in Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations, and submitting it to your local VA medical center.
U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Housing and Community Facilities Loans
For a complete list of home loans offered by the USDA, including the Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program, the 502 Direct Loan Program, and the 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program, please click the link below.
Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loans
Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loans are loans funded directly by the Government. These loans are available to very low-income rural residents who own and occupy a dwelling in need of repairs. Funds are available for repairs to improve or modernize a home, or to remove health and safety hazards. This loan is a 1% loan that may be repaid over a 20-year period.
USDA Rural Development Minnesota State Office
375 Jackson St. #410
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 602-7800
USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Office
5417 Clem’s Way
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Phone: (866) 474-3600
Additional Funding Sources
Some Area Agencies on Aging may offer home modifications as part of the services that are provided. Depending on the area in which the individual lives, the program may offer home repair and modification services on a sliding scale or free of charge. The Area Agency on Aging may refer to local contractors and remodelers to complete the work, or may hire their own staff. The Eldercare Locator link will help you find your Area Agency on Aging.
Several states have created home modification programs through their statewide Assistive Technology program. The programs can provide trial equipment as well as providing low-interest loans for the purchase of assistive technology or home modifications for individuals with disabilities.
States may offer a variety of services to consumers under a HCBS waiver program and the number of services that can be provided is not limited These programs may provide a combination of both traditional medical services (i.e. dental services, skilled nursing services) as well as non-medical services (i.e. respite, case management, environmental modifications). Family members and friends may be providers of waiver services if they meet the specified provider qualifications. However, in general spouses and parents of minor children cannot be paid providers of waiver services.
Foundations and Organizations
Private foundations and non-profit organizations such as Rebuilding Together will sometimes provide home modification services. Other organizations such as the MS Society will focus on the needs of people with specific illnesses or disabilities. For more information on Rebuilding Together, please visit their website.
Crowdfunding or crowdsourcing is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising contributions from a large number of people including family, friends and acquaintances. This is often done using popular crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter, but the concept can also be executed through fundraising events. Below is a list of popular crowdfunding websites.
If a homeowner is over 62 years of age, they may qualify for a reverse mortgage which can provide funds to pay for the modifications. For more information on reverse mortgages, visit the following websites:
Insurance Coverage of Home Modifications
While health insurance policies rarely cover home modifications, some auto insurance policies, worker’s compensation programs, state catastrophic accident insurance plans, or medical trust funds will pay for home modifications, especially if the disability was caused by an accident or injury. Long-term care policies may also cover seniors. Some policies allow individuals to use benefits to cover home modifications if it means the beneficiary can avoid entering an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Those who self pay for their home modifications might be eligible for medical expense tax deductions. Refer to the IRS website for more details.