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BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Summer, 2021

 

Streamlined program provides help with home adaptations for independent living

By Barb Mikulec

The Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program ended and was replaced by BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations program (BC-RAHA) on March 18, 2021. BC Housing, with the province of BC and CMHC, are introducing the new program to give financial assistance to eligible low and moderate income seniors and people with disabilities to make adaptations to their homes for independent living.

The BC RAHA will streamline applications, so you do not need a quote before applying for the grant. An assessment by an occupational therapist or other qualified professional will be required for some adaptations to assess the person’s needs. The funding is up to $17,500 in rebates for adaptations such as exterior and interior ramps and door widening to accommodate a wheelchair, and bathroom modifications such as grab bars, shower seats and handheld showerheads. You’ll find the full criteria and applications at www.bchousing.org/BC-RAHA.

A proposed legislative change will extend the current rent freeze to Dec. 31, 2021. If passed, the legislation will tie future rent increases to inflation, stop illegal renovictions and improve the dispute resolution process for tenants and landlords.

Happipad, a program for shared housing, has been awarded $250,000 under the National Housing Strategy Demonstrations Initiative for its web-based companion housing platform. With 18 community organizations in BC and Alberta, they will launch several pilot programs and educational workshops which can benefit vulnerable population segments including seniors, students, recent immigrants and newcomers. The most common arrangement is a homeowner or tenant rents a spare bedroom to a renter, with an emphasis on compatibility and sharing the home for companionship and security. For more info contact amanda@ happipad.com

Barb Mikulic is Chair of the Council of Senior Citizens (COSCO) Housing Committee.

 

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