FAQ Regarding Reinstatement of Funding for Home Modifications in DCA’s Home Access Programwebmaster
What is the Home Access Program?
It provides funding and technical assistance to low-income individuals with disabling mobility impairments to retrofit their homes so that they can safely enter, use and exit their homes. Prior to the economic downturn in 2008, DCA directed $300,000 per year from the State Housing Trust Fund for The Home Access Program. On average, the Home Access Program invested $8,000 per person on services such as installing sturdy hand rails on porches, wheelchair ramps, wider bathroom doors, grab bars affixed in showers and around toilets.
What is the problem?
With the economic downturn, DCA eliminated funding for this important program. On any given day, the nine Georgia Centers for Independent Living have requests from over 400 people who require assistance to get their homes modified. In 2014 alone the Centers reported the following requests they had to put on hold:
|Access2Independence – Columbus||8|
|Bainbridge Advocacy Individual Network – Bainbridge||9|
|Disability Connections – Macon||61|
|Disability Resource Center – Gainesville||6|
|Living Independence for Everyone – Savannah||112|
|Walton Options for Independent Living – Augusta||238|
|disAbility LINK – Atlanta||45|
|NW GA Center for Independent Living – Rome||9|
What is needed?
Reinstatement of funds from DCA for the program is urgently needed. Considering that in 2006, the funding level for this program was $300,000, and costs and needs have increased every year, an infusion of $500,000 minimum per year is needed at this time. With DCA’s historical average home modification costs of $8,000 per person, at least 62 people per year could receive this vital service.
Why is it needed?
The longer people wait for such services, the more likely they are to risk injury from a fall, sometimes resulting in hospitalization or nursing facility placement. As the population ages, there are more and more requests for home modifications because of an increase in mobility impairments. The Home Access Program is a wise investment in the prevention of more costly services.
What are the advantages of reinstating the funds?
With an appropriate modification to the existing home, many people are able to stay in (or return to) their own home after rehab, an accident, or other disabling event. This saves families and individuals considerable anguish and saves the State of Georgia considerable expense when nursing facility placement is avoided.