Larkin Announces Local "access To Home" Grants

William J. Larkin, Jr.

January 06, 2006

This week, Senator Bill Larkin informs residents that State funding has been awarded to two organizations in Orange and Ulster Counties to help seniors and those with disabilities to remain in their homes and out of nursing homes. These awards mark the first round of funding under the State’s new "Access to Home" program.

"This new program is a good beginning in our efforts to help seniors and those with disabilities who are not quite ready to give up their homes and move to a nursing home facility," said Senator Larkin. "In many cases, all is takes is a simple modification to a home, like a ramp or converting a downstairs room into a bedroom, for someone to be able to stay in their home."

Two area not-for-profits, the Regional Economic Community Action Program, Inc. in Orange County, and the Rural Ulster Preservation Company, Inc. in Ulster County have each received $200,000 for this purpose. Each organization will administer local programs to make the homes and apartments of low and moderate income residents with disabilities more accessible.

The funds can be used to build ramps, modify bathrooms, and other home or apartment features for those in wheelchairs or with other impairments. This assistance will also allow individuals currently living in institutional settings to transition back to their homes once the homes are appropriately adapted.

Homeowners and renters may qualify for Access to Home assistance when they meet the following criteria: The applicant is physically disabled or has substantial difficulty with an activity of daily living because of aging; the dwelling unit is a permanent residence, or will be a permanent residence after modifications are completed; and, the applicant’s total household income does not exceed 80 percent of area median income.