We all know that the sun at home warms better than the sun elsewhere. As the structure and value of a house contribute to a welcoming home, a large number of aged people would want to stay at a home that accommodates their needs as they grow older.
However, there are grants for home renovation offered to seniors in British Columbia (BC) as a better home gives peace of mind in old age.
In this article, we would discover the different home renovation grants for seniors in BC. You might want to check out our guide on the top home improvement grants for cancer patients.
Older adults between the age of 65 and above are referred to as Seniors and have been offered a specific support grant for their home renovation by the Government of British Columbia to increase their comfort and safety.
BC by population is the third largest Canadian province with a total population of 5,000,8797 in 2021 and the fourth largest province with the highest economy.
BC is known as one of the best places to live and work, the cost of living and housing is quite affordable depending on location except for Vancouver City where the cost of housing is about 2,793 dollars compared to Toronto with a price of 2,300 dollars.
BC is known globally for maintaining a high standard of living.
When it comes to the cost of living, housing should be considered first. The cost of housing in BC on average is 999,648 Canadian dollars.
Housing taxes, healthcare, and utilities have made the cost of living in BC expensive.
House price for resale on average is about 825,000 dollars but there are less costly cities one can choose to reside in BC.
As older adults in BC retire back to their long treasured home, their home becomes old and can’t fit into their newly developed needs.
Achieving a safer and more comfortable place to live in has been provided by the issuance of grants by the government.
Let’s dive in
The List of Home Renovation Grants for Seniors in BC
- BC Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit
- Home Adaptation for Independence (HAFI)
- Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
- Efficiency BC Renovation Program
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation GreenHouse Program
- Regular Property Tax Deferment Program
- Low-Income Grant Supplement for Seniors
- Shelter Aids for Elderly Renters (SAFERS)
- EquipCare BC
- BC Hydro & FortisBC Energy Conservation and Assistance Programs
1. BC Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit
This is a personal income tax credit that is refundable and is given to assist seniors to improve access, mobility, and function to and within their home or land and also reduce the risk of harm within the home.
The maximum amount granted is 1000 dollars annually and can be granted to both rented and house owners.
To be eligible for this grant, you must reside in BC, be a senior or a person with disabilities, or a member of the family living with these persons.
Credit could be claimed by filing your T1 income tax return and completing the form for the British Columbia home renovation tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities (BCS12) and the amount spent on the eligible renovation should be entered beside box 60480 on the British Columbia credit tax form (BC 479).
Receipts from suppliers or contractors including all other documents should be kept.
2. Home Adaptation for Independence (HAFI)
Seniors with disabilities and low-income earners are been covered by this program to help renovate their homes to an accessible and spacious structure to fit their needs.
The changes could be the installation of handrails to help prevent falls or injury or taking the restroom downstairs for accessibility.
A reasonable amount of 20,000 dollars can be granted to eligible persons who fit into the criteria.
Eligibility for house owners includes if you or someone in your household is disabled.
Tenants are also eligible to apply if they are disabled. Assessment from a health practitioner or therapist is required for application approval
3. Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
Seniors with Disabilities are provided with assistance to bring their homes to a safer and healthy nature by this program. They help cover the cost of a repair to a substandard home.
Applicants must be residents of BC and their total household income must be low. The home must lack basic facilities and needs major repairs for safety. A total of $60,000 is provided for each unit that needs major home repairs.
If your property is located in a remote area, a forgivable loan will be given by an increase of 25%. The forgivable loan doesn’t have to be repaid if all the terms and conditions are met.
4. Efficiency BC Renovation Program
This program worth 24 Million dollars offers financial support and incentives to Senior homeowners in each province to bring into a standard, high-efficiency heated home.
Thereby reducing the effect of greenhouse gasses and energy is conserved in the process.
Information is also provided to help reduce energy usage in homes as well as reduce the cost of energy bills.
The federal government under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund co- funded this program.
5. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation GreenHouse Program
You have to be CMHC insured and have an efficient home to be eligible. Must possess an updated certificate of an energy efficiency home based on the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions target and must be assessed by Natural Resources Canada ( NRCan).
The application must be completed and submitted Online with a certificate or report of home energy.
6. Regular Property Tax Deferment Program
This program allows aged persons from the age of 55 to stay longer in their homes as they defer some or all of their taxes.
They eliminate the annual increase and interest of their tax.
Their property tax account must be in good standing, must be their principal residence, and must be currently receiving the Provincial Residential Tax Credit to be eligible.
7. Low-Income Grant Supplement for Seniors
When the principal residence is assessed below the grant threshold which is known to be 2,125,000 dollars, homeowners may be able to claim the full regular grant amount.
They may also be qualified for a reduced or eliminated grant amount if your property is above the grant threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of $2,125,00.
Application is done annually by completing the Home owners grant low income supplement form and only one grant can be received yearly.
Qualified seniors receive a maximum amount of 845 dollars yearly and would receive more if they are qualified for the homeowners grant.
You can also apply for a retroactive low-income supplement grant if you were eligible the previous year but didn’t apply.
8. Shelter Aids for Elderly Renters (SAFERS)
BC residents over the age of 60 and above with low income are provided with subsidized monthly rent payments by this program.
To be eligible applicants must be 60 years of age or above, before the application submission, must have lived in BC for 12 months, must meet the Canadian Citizenship requirements, and more than 30% of their monthly household income and gross before tax is used to rent a home.
The application process is done online by downloading the SAFER application form. Photocopies of supporting documents such as proof of income, proof of age, bank information, and proof of rent should be attached. Applications can be submitted online, in person, by fax or by mail.
9. EquipCare BC
This program tends to improve the quality, safety, and health of Seniors living in a care or assisted living home for a long duration. Seniors living in a care home need to be provided with the best quality of life to feel safe.
The funding will be provided through the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) for EquipCare BC seniors in enriching the lives of the most vulnerable older adults in the province.
They also support care homes’ purchase of items to enhance the life of the seniors.
Between the years 2022-2023, EquipCare BC has approved 241 grant applications throughout the province.
This has been made possible through the partnership and investment of the Ministry of Health.
10. BC Hydro & FortisBC Energy Conservation and Assistance Programs
As a senior living in one of these participating towns or municipalities, such as Duncan and Colwood you are opportune to get free high-efficiency fixtures for your house.
You can also apply to make your community a part of the program if it isn’t part of the program.
Free energy-saving products could be installed such as LED light bulbs and weather stripping. You might be qualified also to be provided with an attic, insulation on the wall, refrigerator, and gas furnace.
To be Eligible, you must be an account holder of BC Hydro or FortisBC, must live in an income-qualifying household.
Application is done online by completing the application form and submitted with a landlord consent form if you are a tenant.
Home Renovations Qualified for Seniors
- Counters/cupboards lowering existing ones
- Installing adjustable Counters or Cupboards
- Bathtubs walk-in
- Easy-to-operate Door Locks and Doors that are widened for easy passage
- Handrails along the corridors
- Flooring – allows the use of wheelchairs and walkers and does not slip
- Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub, and shower
- Adjustable shower rods and Hand-held showers
- Alteration of Sink position to allow use even in a seated position
- Electrical outlets and light switches placed in an accessible location
- Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
- A fixture of light all around the house including entrances
- Hot water pipe insulation
- Stairs or wheelchair lifts or elevators
- Wheelchair ramps
- Relocation of taps to ease access
- Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
Home Renovations Not Qualified for Seniors
- Enhancements of aesthetics – such as redecorating
- Appliances such as cooking gas, oven, microwave
- Electronics (home entertainment)
- Home medical monitoring equipment
- Services such as Home care services and Housekeeping services.
Challenges Faced by Seniors in Accessing Home Renovation
1. Most of these aged persons will need accessible modifications to live comfortably in their homes, although the need for modifications is great, such improvements can be costly, and seniors already facing affordability challenges may postpone these improvements in favor of more urgent home repairs or health expenses.
2. Many older individuals, particularly those who are no longer able to drive, become socially isolated and have difficulty accessing these grants and the required documents needed for application.
1. What is the Cost of Housing in BC
The cost of housing varies depending on the location. On average renting a unit in British Columbia is 2,173 dollars monthly and buying a home is 999,648 dollars.
2. Most Expensive Part to Live in BC
Vancouver Is known as the most expensive part to live in BC due to a number of factors such as limited land availability and high demand.
The median home price in Vancouver is around $1.1 million, which is more than three times the national average.
Victoria, whose home price ranges at most 890 dollars, is also known as one of the most expensive cities to live in. Others include the British Whistler and West Vancouver.
3. Most Cheapest Place to Live in BC
Castlegar is one of the top places in BC for the most promising growth with a population of 8.992.
The average cost of rent is $1,500 for 2 bedrooms and $392,827 to buy a house.
The cost of living is 30% lower than the BC average. Other affordable cities include Prince George, Abbotsford, Williams Lake, and others.
4. What is the Benefit of Home Renovation
Increases home space, lowers the cost of energy, improves the value and functions of properties, ensures safety and comfort
5. What Adds the Most Value to a Home Renovation
Updating Light Fixtures, installation of home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, roof replacement, and outdoor beautification.
As a person grows older so their needs, tastes, and preferences change. Their houses also need to be altered to keep up with these changes.
Maintenance is needed in order for them to feel comfortable, safe, and have a sense of belonging.
However, some of the British Columbia Grants for Seniors have been listed to make them independent and live in an environment they are familiar and in love with.
If you can’t afford a renovation and have been wanting to age in a place rather than moving eventually to another, these resources will help you maintain your old home that would accommodate your needs.
I hope this article was insightful, please leave a comment below.