Are you a disabled homeowner, or someone caring for someone with a disability in your household, struggling with the cost of homeownership?
If yes, you’re in luck!
Because it’s a little-known secret that Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal governments offer grants, forgivable loans, refundable tax credits, and more to people who are disabled - and for disabled homeowners who earn a low income - to improve the safety and accessibility of their home!
Who Is Considered a “Disabled Homeowner”?
The Canadian Government defines a disability as “a severe or prolonged condition that prevents a person from performing normal or routine daily activities”.
The majority of the programs that help people with disabilities are for seniors and people who earn a low income. Many of the programs pay for home modifications that will increase the standard of living for people with disabilities.
How Can You Get the Most Money from Government Programs?
The majority of funding for each program is limited, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. It is best to apply as soon as possible and ensure that your application is filled out properly before submitting it.
Here are some other tips to help you maximize your benefits:
- Read each requirement in the application carefully, because if you miss a requirement it may delay your application
- Obtain each required document and receipt prior to filling out the application
- Be sure to include all necessary receipts and documentation when submitting your application
Canadian Government Grants for Disabled Homeowners in Each Province and Major City
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan
This program allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP to buy or build a new home for yourself or someone you know with a disability.
Visit the website to learn how to apply.
Home Buyers’ Tax Credit
The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit that helps homeowners recover closing costs such as legal expenses and inspections. If you have a disability (i.e., you are eligible for the disability tax credit) or if you bought the house to improve accessibility for someone who is disabled, you can claim up to $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home on your personal tax return on the year of purchase.
Claim the credit when you file your taxes, but visit the website for more information.
ALBERTA GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP)
RAMP provides a grant of up to $7,500 with an option for multiple grants of up to $15,000 in a 10-year period. This program is available to people with disabilities who earn a low income to help pay for modifications to their home to increase accessibility.
- Use a wheelchair, a four-wheel walker, or have a neurodegenerative disease
- Household income under $36,000 (amount increases per couple, and if a child under 21 years who lives in the house uses a wheelchair or attends school full time)
- Modifications enable the wheelchair user to access or move within their living space.
- Includes previous and future modifications
BRITISH COLUMBIA GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Home Adaptations For Independence (HAFI)
This program provides a grant or forgivable loan of up to $20,000 and is available to people with disabilities who earn a low income to help pay for home adaptations that increase the quality of life. Landlords are also eligible for this program.
- Approaching and entering a building
- Getting around a dwelling
- Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC)
- Extension and conversion
- Other rooms and around the dwelling
- Common area in multiple-unit buildings
- Must be a Canadian citizen permanently residing in British Columbia
- A person in the home must have a physical disability
- Must be your primary residence
- Have household assets less than $100,000
- Household income is within the Housing Income Limits
- Your home’s BC Assessment value is below the Home Value Limit
- The unit to be adapted is a legal, self-contained unit with a full kitchen and bathroom.
- The tenant is a Canadian citizen and permanently resides in British Columbia
- The tenant or a member of their household has a permanent disability or diminished ability
- The tenant’s household assets are less than $100,000
- The tenant’s household income is within the Housing Income Limits
- The tenant’s rent is below the median rent level
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) On-Reserve
This program provides a forgivable loan of up to $60,000 and is available to people with disabilities who earn a low income to help pay for repairs and modifications to a home that does not meet minimum levels of health and safety.
*For northern or remote areas, the maximum total amount may be increased by an additional 25%.
- Fire Safety
- First Nations or First Nation member
- Require major repairs to your home
- Household income less than the established income threshold for their area
- Involve heating or fire safety
Go to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website and download the application.
Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
BC homeowners with a disability can receive up to $1,000 in tax credits for making necessary renovations to their home.
- A resident of BC, and
- A person with a disability or a family member living with a person with a disability (for 2016 and later tax years).
If you qualify for the federal disability tax credit, you will also qualify for this program.
You claim this tax credit when you file your taxes each year.
Rural Property Tax Home Owner Grant for People with Disabilities or Living with a Person with Disabilities
If you live in Rural British Columbia and pay your property tax directly to the province and not a municipality, you are eligible for a reduction in property tax.
- Be the registered owner of the residence
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- Live in BC
- Occupy the residence as your principal residence
- Assessed or partitioned value of your property must not exceed the grant threshold
- Ensure you meet additional requirements if you are buying or selling your property
- Meet one of the following two requirements:
- You must apply each year and if you move.
- Apply online, by mail to the address on your property tax notice, or in person at a Service BC Centre.
Regular Property Tax Deferment Program
If you are a person with disabilities that impairs your ability to function on a day-to-day basis, this program allows you to defer some or all of your property taxes.
Fill in the Eligibility Calculator to see if and how you qualify.
Families with Children Tax Deferment Program
If you are supporting a child under 18, a child attending a college or university, or a child with a disability, you may be eligible for a low-interest loan that defers paying part of your property taxes.
Fill in the Eligibility Calculator to see if and how you qualify.
Homeowner Grant for People with Disabilities
If you’ve spent at least $2,000 in the last year making modifications to your home to accommodate a disability (or if you meet a couple other qualifications), you can have up to $845 (in the Capital Regional District, Greater Vancouver Regional District, and the Fraser Valley) or up to $1,045 (in the rest of the province) of your property taxes reduced.
Visit their website to learn how to apply and more.
MANITOBA GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Residential Adaptation for Disabilities Program
Manitoba offers this program that provides up to $16,000 ($19,000 for remote areas). It is available to people with a low income to help pay for adaptations to their home that help increase mobility, safety, and independence for people with disabilities. This forgivable loan does not have to be paid back as long as you live in the home for 5 years after the adaptions are completed.
- Storage areas
- Grab bars
- Wheelchair ramps
- Entryways and interior doors
- Lift systems
- Floor covering
- Plumbing and electrical
- Primary home is in Manitoba (outside First Nation Community)
- Gross income is less than the level set by Manitoba Housing for the community
- Someone in home has a disability
- Landlord that rents a unit below the affordable rent amount for the area
- Home’s BC Assessment value is below the Home Value Limit
Contact Manitoba Housing for an application package.
Manitoba Emergency Repair Program for Homeowners
If you have a low income and need to make emergency repairs to your home, you may qualify to receive up to $5,000 ($9,000 if you live in the northern community).
All repairs must be completed within 90 days of approval and must belong to one or more of the following categories:
- Water Supply
- Disability and accessibility
Call 204-945-5566 or toll free 1-866-689-5566 to apply
Bug and Scrub Program
If you have a disability and your home has become infested with bed bugs, this program will provide free cleaning services to help remove the bed bugs. Call 1-855-3MB-BUGS.
NEW BRUNSWICK GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Federal/Provincial Repair Program
This is a program funded by both the federal and provincial governments and provides a forgivable loan of up to $10,000 for regular repairs and $10,000 for disabled accessibility items.
It is available to seniors and homeowners with a disability who earn a low income to help pay for repairs to their home that increase accessibility and safety. The amount the loan given is based on income and the amount of repairs needed. Landlords also qualify up to a maximum of $10,000.
- Household income less than the established housing income limits
- Own and reside the home
- Home requires major repairs or lacks basic facilities
- Modifications are housing-related and/or provide better access within the home
- Modifications facilitate and prolong independent living
Housing Assistance for Persons with Disabilities
Housing Assistance provides a forgivable loan of up to $10,000. This program is available to homeowners with a disability who earn a low income to help pay for repairs that increase the accessibility and safety of their home, as well as landlords making modifications for a disable tenant.
- Anyone with a disability, or homeowners who live with a disabled person, who have a total household income less than the applicable Housing Income Limit
- Landlords that rent to people with disabilities or with income less than the applicable Housing Income Limits
- Modifications are housing related and/or improves access and accessibility for people with disabilities
- Properties meet acceptable standards of health and safety
- Work conforms to the requirements of the most current National Building Code
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Home Modification Program (HMP)
Newfoundland and Labrador provides forgivable loans of up to $7,500 and payable loans if necessary up to $10,000 ($13,000 in Labrador) to homeowners who earn low to moderate income to help pay for modifications to their home that increase the standard of living for people with disabilities.
- Installation of ramps
- Widened doorways/halls
- Installation of handrails
- Lowered counter and work space in the kitchen
- Roll/walk-in showers
- Bathtub grab bars and seats
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Senior and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief
This Northwest Territories program assists seniors and people with disabilities pay less or no property tax to help lower their cost of living. You must apply every year.
NOVA SCOTIA GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Disabled Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Homeowners
This is a twin program offered by the province of Nova Scotia that provides forgivable loans worth up to $16,000 to homeowners and gives landlords renting to the disabled up to $16,000 per rooming bed unit or up to $24,000 per self-contained rental unit. It is available to homeowners who earn a low income and landlords to help pay for modifications that make their home more accessible for people with disabilities.
- Made to primary residence
- Improves access and use of basic facilities
- Increases the safety of the person limited to a wheelchair
Similar to the previous program, this one provides a forgivable grant of up to $7,000 and is available to anyone confined to a wheelchair, or expected to be confined to a wheelchair (or anyone caring for or renting to someone in a wheelchair) to help pay for modifications to the home to improve accessibility.
- You or a family member must be limited to a wheelchair because of a long-term disability.
- You or a family member must be expected to be limited to a wheelchair within the next 6 months because of a long-term disability.
- The modifications must be made to your main/primary home.
- If you do not own your home, you must provide written approval from the owner for the modification.
Continuing Care – Supportive Care Program
Though this program is funded by the province, it is run by local municipalities. If you’re a Nova Scotia resident with a qualifying cognitive impairment, you could qualify for up to $500/month to purchase home-support services (personal care, respite, meal preparation, and household chores) and up to $495/year for snow removal services.
Visit their website to learn more.
Senior Snow Removal
The snow removal program is available to low-income seniors (65+) and people with disabilities in the Halifax region.
Call the YMCA at 902.483.3678 to apply.
NUNAVUT GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Seniors and Disabled Preventative Maintenance Program
This program provides a grant of up to $3,000 per year and is available to seniors or people with disabilities to help maintain and repair their home.
- Homeowner over 60 years old
- Receiving a Disability Benefit
- Income is less than the amount set by the Homeownership Program Income Eligibility (HPIE)
- Must ensure continued safe occupancy
- Must extend service life of building systems
- Must reduce the number of emergency repairs required due to lack of preventative maintenance
- Must assist seniors and people with a disability in overcoming obstacles of maintaining a home
- Forced air furnaces
- Oil fired hot water boilers
- Water tanks and water pumps
- Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) equipment
- Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and CO alarms
- Electrical inspection
- Windows and doors
- Water taps and shower heads
- Light fixtures and receptacles
- Caulking, weather stripping and door sweeps
- Partially functional appliances
- Equipment used by people with a disability
ONTARIO GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Easter Seals Financial Assistance
They will fund up to $3,000 to children and young adults (up to 19 years old) with physical disabilities with home renovations or equipment not covered by the Ministry of Health’s Assistive Devices Program, though clients are required to pay $50 or more per each request based on their financial resources.
- Bathing and toileting equipment
- Porch and van lifts
- Child is registered with Easter Seals Ontario
- Child has a physical disability that restricts independent mobility
Go to the Easter Seals website and download the application.
March of Dimes Home and Vehicle Modification Program
The March of Dimes Home & Vehicle Modification Program provides funding for basic home and/or vehicle modifications to help with accessibility and mobility. The program is intended to assist permanent Ontario residents with a substantial impairment expected to last 1 year or more with their disability management. Only those with an income of less than $30,001 and the number 08/16 on the bottom left of their application form will be accepted.
Download the form to apply.
Ontario Renovates Program
This program offers forgivable loans of up to $20,000 to low-income homeowners who own and occupy substandard housing so they can repair their dwellings to a minimum level of health and safety.
- Must own and occupy the home
- Household income and assessed value below a set amount
- Total household assets at or below $10,000
- Heating systems
- Leaking basements
- Mould/asbestos removal
- Doors and Windows
- Roofs, walls, floors, and ceilings
- Vents, louvers
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing, toilet, water heaters
- Septic Systems
- Fire safety items
- Chair and Bath lifts
- Counter Top Height Adjustments
- Cues for Doorbells and/or Fire Alarms
QUEBEC GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
The Residential Adaptation Assistance Program
This program provides up to $16,000 per eligible person and is available to people with disabilities who earn a low income to help pay to modify their home to increase their standard of life. Where specialized equipment is required, an additional $10,000 may be given, and in certain cases, another $7,000 may even be granted.
- Widening door frames
AIDS for Everyday Life and Domestic Life/Assisted Living and Domestic Life Program
This program is for those who have a permanent impairment and significant disabilities recognized by a physician. You may be able to get equipment to help you with usual life activities. For example, you could get help obtaining a bed posture, a transfer chair, or a bathtub seat.
- Aids used in the bedroom (i.e., motorized bed, mattress, bed posture aid)
- Aids used in the bathroom (i.e., transfer chair, bathtub seat, toilet aid)
- Helpers used in the kitchen (i.e., help with meal preparation, help with food)
- Aids used in different rooms (i.e., transfer aid, patient lift on wheels)
- Personal aids (i.e., safety helmet, protective glove, hair prosthesis)
For a complete list of assistive devices in each category and attribution criteria, see the publication Aids to Daily Living and Domestic Life Program.
Home Adaptation Program
This program helps people adapt their current homes to improve mobility and accessibility for those with disabilities. Renovations include such things as installing an outdoor access ramp, redeveloping a bathroom, and/or widening door frames. Depending on the case, up to $33,000 is available for these renovations.
Visit their website to apply
SASKATCHEWAN GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Adapt a Home for a Person Experiencing Disability
This program provides a forgivable loan of up to $23,000 and is available to people who earn a low income to help pay for modifications that make their home more accessible for people with disabilities.
- Own and occupy the property as their primary residence,
- Have a household member has a housing-related disability, and
- Have an annual household income and asset levels below the limits established by Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.
- Rent the modified units to low-income households that include a person with a housing-related disability,
- Maintain affordable rents based on Saskatchewan Housing Corporation’s rent schedule for the term of the loan, and
- Rent to tenants with an annual household income at or below the limits established by Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
PEI Home Renovation Programs
This program helps you with the cost of major structural repairs to your home. You could receive up to a maximum $6,000 for eligible repairs to the structure, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems or to improve fire safety and up to a maximum $8,000 if you are a person with a permanent disability and the repairs are to help you accommodate your disability. This program opens for just a short window, so check often.
You are eligible to apply if
- Your combined income is $35,000 or less;
- Your property value is $145,000 or less;
- Your property tax payments are no more than 1 year behind;
- The property is your principal residence; and
- You have not met the maximum grant through previous applications to the PEI Home Renovation Programs.
*NOTE those with the lowest income will receive funding first.
YUKON GRANTS for DISABLED HOMEOWNERS
Home Repair Program
For those homeowners with a low- to modest-income and a disability, this program provides home repair loans to improve health and safety concerns, address accessibility needs, and/or improve a home’s energy efficiency.
While this program doesn’t necessarily use income caps, it does have three different options available to match household income levels, including a forgivable loan. Homeowners can borrow up to $50,000 to repair or upgrade their principal residence.
- You must a Yukon resident (lived in the Yukon for more than 90 days).
- The loan must be to repair your principal residence (and you must live in your principal residence).
- You attach all required documents.
- You must not have received any other compensation for these repairs.
*NOTE those with the lowest income will receive funding first.
Canada’s provinces and territories strive to help people find the most help possible so everyone may enjoy the best possible quality of life for the longest period of time.
This support is crucial for seniors and people with disabilities who earn a low income to help modify houses so they are more energy efficient, more accessible, and safer.
The modifications help increase the standard of living and reduce the cost of living, now and in the future, so people can live comfortably, safely, and independently in their home longer.