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Programs that Help Save Money on Home Accessibility ...

posted Jul 21, 2011, 12:07 PM by Mary Lopez

Modifications for People Who Have Disabilities

In the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park and the Counties of Prince William and Fauquier

 

I. Livable Home Tax Credit

This tax credit is for people who purchase a new home that is accessible or retrofit a home to make it accessible. For 2011, the credit limit has been increased to $5,000 for new residences, and 50% of the amount spent retrofitting an existing residence, not to exceed $5,000. Contractors are also eligible for the tax credit.  Any tax credit that exceeds the eligible individual’s tax liability may be carried forward for five years. If the total amount of tax credits issued under this program exceeds $1million in a fiscal year, DHCD will pro-rate the amount of credits among the eligible applicants. Applications are to be filed with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development by February 28 of the year following the year in which the purchase or retro-fitting was completed. For additional information see http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/HousingPreservationRehabilitation/PDFs/TAX_Credit_FinalGuidelines.pdf or contact Violet Peyton, 804-371-7124.

The cost of a permanent home modification may also be tax deductible on federal income tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service provides detailed information on this deduction in Publication 502-Medical and Dental Expenses. The publication is available online or by calling 1-800-829-3676.

II. City or County Tax Relief

City of Manassas residents may qualify for relief from real estate tax, personal property tax, and decal fee if they are citizens who are either 65 or older, or permanently and totally disabled, and meet the income and asset requirements. Qualified taxpayers may also be eligible for rent relief. For more information, see http://www.manassascity.org/index.aspx?nid=274

Manassas Park residents may also get relief from real estate taxes if their family income is less than $40,000 and assets less than $100,000. Partial relief is available from families whose incomes are between $40,001 and $50,000. Applications must be filed by April 1. For more information, see http://www.cityofmanassaspark.us/Public_Documents/ManassasParkVA_Revenue/taxrelief

Prince William residents who meet certain criteria may be granted relief from all or part of real estate taxes, the solid waste fee, annual license fee and personal property tax. Qualifying limits may change from year to year. Tax Relief is granted on an annual basis and a renewal application must be filed each year. Applications should be filed by April 15, 2011. For more information, see http://www.pwcgov.org/docLibrary/PDF/13374.pdf

 

Fauquier County residents may qualify for real estate tax relief by meeting certain criteria and filing a form to request exemption. New applicants must file between January 1 and June 30. For more information, see http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments/commrev/index.cfm?action=elderly

 

III. Weatherization Assistance Program

The Weatherization Assistance program provides funds to reduce the heating and cooling costs for low-income families and to ensure their health and safety.  Assistance is available for low-income households, particularly for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and families with children. Income limits are as follows: for a family of one, $$24,465, a family of two, $31,993; three, $39,520; four, $47,048.  

The program is available for homeowners and renters at no cost. First, staff from the weatherization provider will call to schedule a time to meet you and to perform an audit of your home.  The audit will help them to help identify the best energy-saving measures that are cost effective, healthy, and safe. 

Typical weatherization services include:

  • Sealing air leaks with insulation, caulking, and weather-stripping;
  • Installing ventilation fans;
  • Repairing drafty duct systems;
  • Repairing and replacing inefficient or unsafe heating and cooling systems;
  • Installing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors; and
  • Installing energy efficient lighting

The Weatherization Assistance program also checks for health and safety risks, including testing for carbon monoxide levels and installing fire alarms where necessary.  Recipients are also educated about proper use and maintenance of all installed systems.

For more information, contact Michelle Cannon, (540) 955-5630, at Community Housing Partners/, 448 Depot Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073. E-mail: mcannan@chpc2.org

 

 

IV. Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Emergency Home Repair/Accessibility Rehabilitation Program (Fauquier County)

 

This program provides funding for improved living conditions for low-income disabled and elderly persons by removing barriers to habitability and accessibility in their homes. Funds are only for accessibility improvements, adaptations, and/or repairs to housing that is occupied by low-income handicapped or elderly individuals. If you own your own home, total gross household income from all sources must be less than 80% of HUD’s area median income—in Fauquier County, this is $45,100 for one person, $51,550 for a two person family, $58,000 for three and $64,400 for four.  If you rent, your total household must be less than shown above, AND:

 

·         The rental property owner must agree in writing not to increase the current rent as a result of the accessibility modification(s) for a minimum of one year from the date of the executed ARP agreement, and;

·         The rental property owner must provide at least 15% of the total costs of repairs and accessibility improvements. If the property owner meets the income requirements listed above, no match is required.  If the property owner refuses to provide the required match, you may still apply, but your application will be given the lowest priority.

 

Funds are limited, and they are made available on a first come-first served basis. Funds are provided on a reimbursement basis.  If the funds available are not enough to cover the modification, the agency may get additional funds from other sources. All home modifications must meet or exceed the standards prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act.

 

Applications are accepted by agents in nonprofit organizations. Individuals are not eligible to apply.  In Fauquier County, apply to Fauquier Community Action Committee, 540-347-7000. They will provide you with eligibility requirements and information on how to apply.

 

 

V. Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Rental Accessibility Program

Up to $1,800 per rental unit is available to tenants with disabilities who earn 80% or less of the area median income (AMI). In Fauquier County, this is $45,100 for one person, $51,550 for a two person family, $58,000 for three and $64,400 for four.  You must have been rejected by other funding sources before applying to VHDA.

All applications must be made through accepted agents. These agents include but are not limited to:

·         Centers for Independent Living (CILs).

·         Local housing authorities.

·         Rehab hospitals (for patients who require modification work to their living quarters before discharge).

·         Landlords in need of accessibility modifications for a specific tenant.

 

You will need contractors’ estimates, before and after photos, and some specific documents to apply for this grant. The list of requirements is shown at http://www.vhda.com/Renters/Documents/Rental%20Unit%20Modification%20Grant%20Program.pdf

 

 

VI. Project Mend-A-House (Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park)

 

For over 25 years, this volunteer-based organization has provided free home repair and home modification services to seniors, disabled and low-income residents of Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park. Project Mend-A-House offers a wide range of minor home maintenance and repair services to owners and renters. They have built dozens of wheelchair accessible ramps, modified doorways, secured flooring, repaired leaky faucets, restored electricity and made numerous basic home repairs.

 

There is a simple, one-page application form available online at http://pmahweb.org/Assistance%20Application%20Form-%205-21-08.pdf . Clients can apply directly or be referred by local area agencies and organizations operating in Prince William County, Manassas, or Manassas Park. All applications are reviewed to determine which services or repairs are needed. In the case of repairs, a volunteer visits the resident's home to assess the size and scope of the job. While Project mend-A-House attempts to accommodate as many requests as possible, some jobs—such as a full roof replacement or installation of a heating and central air-conditioning system—are beyond their resources.

7987 Ashton Avenue Suite 231, Manassas, VA 20109
Phone: 703-792-7663
Fax: 703-792-4094
Email:
director@pmahweb.org

Hours: 9 AM to 2 PM

VII. City of Manassas Home Repair Program (Manassas)

Homeowners who meet income requirements and reside in their properties may receive up to $5,000 in interior repairs in the form of a deferred deed of trust that is to be paid off when the property is sold, and up to $5,000 in exterior repairs in the form of a grant.  Interested persons must fill out a survey, which can be obtained either online at http://www.pwcgov.org/housing, by e-mail to kbeard@pwcgov.org, or by calling 703-792-5927. Eligible homeowners will be placed on a waiting list.

VIII. Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Program (Prince William County and Manassas Park)

This program’s purpose is to correct health and safety violations and increase energy conservation. It is for low- to moderate-income homeowners who live in their properties. The amount of money put into the housing rehabilitation is secured by a deferred deed of trust that is to be paid off when the property is sold. Interested persons must fill out a survey, which can be obtained either online at http://www.pwcgov.org/housing, by e-mail to kbeard@pwcgov.org, or by calling 703-792-5927. Eligible homeowners will be placed on a waiting list.

IX. Granting Freedom Veterans Grants

VHDA, in conjunction with DHCD and Community Housing Partners, has grant funds available to pay for modifications needed on homes or apartments to make them accessible for servicemen or women who sustained injury during service in a combat theatre of operations. The home or apartment must be within Virginia and can be owned or rented. Examples of modifications include ramps, widened doorways, grab bars, higher toilets, lowered countertops, tub cuts, visual smoke detectors, shower chairs and handheld shower fixtures, as well as other housing modifications. A recommendation for the housing modification is required from a VA hospital Rehabilitation Officer, VA attending physician, or a VA physical therapist. Up to $4,000 is available to pay for the housing modification once the work is completed. Due to the limited amount of funding available, this is a first come, first serve opportunity.

 

Applicants need to submit an application and W-9, available online at http://www.vhda.com/Programs/Documents/Granting-Freedom-Grant-Application.pdf . The Granting Freedom application package includes detailed instructions and outlines program specifics.

 

If you receive a Veteran’s Pension, other grants may be available to you. If you are over 65, you will not have to prove disability. To find out more about VA programs, call 1-800-827-1000.

 

 

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