The Alberta government wants to offer seniors low-interest loans for renovations that will allow them to keep living in their homes.
Bill 5, the Seniors’ Home Adaptation and Repair Act, will offer loans to seniors for repairs and renovations that improve the health, safety, accessibility and energy efficiency of their homes.
Renovations could include walk-in tubs, ramps, lifts, accessibility modifications, etc.
The loans will be no higher than $40,000. Interest will be set at the prime rate with repayment due only when the home is sold or the senior passes away.
Qualification and an outline of the plan can be viewed at: Link to Bill 5
The program is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada. If passed, the bill has taken effect as of July 1, 2016 as noted on the Alberta government proclamation website.
Gordon Voth, president of Seniors United Now, said the program will help seniors on a fixed income who may not be able to afford renovations like wider doors to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
“Those are the kind of things that allow seniors…to remain in their home, even if it’s just one year,” he said. “Then they’re not in a facility that’s consuming more dollars.”
The government estimates approximately 145,000 households or 260,000 seniors will be eligible for the program.
CTV reported on this in April 2016 and their article can be found at: CTV New Article on Bill 5