When you’re struggling to make ends meet, sometimes costly home repairs and renovations can be pricey, and as a senior citizen with reduced income, it can be hard even when you have to make house adaptations that will suit your health needs or safety reasons. Almost 7 percent or more than 250,000 of Canada’s seniors live in poverty, while 19 percent live just above the poverty line, according to a 2005 report from the Canadian government’s National Advisory Council on Aging.
In Ontario, you can qualify for a home renovation grant by applying each year when you file your income tax and benefit returns. These grants may come in part – to renovate a section of your home, or enough for a full home renovation or new building.
Home Renovation Grants For Seniors In Ontario
There are five different programs in the home renovation grants for Seniors in Ontario. You can decide to go for the Ontario Renovates Programme, Compassionate Appeals Programme (Hamilton), Seniors (65+) Tax Rebate Programme (Hamilton), Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and the Senior Citizens Home Repair Programme.
Learn more about individual programmes below;
1. Ontario Renovates program
This grant provides up to $25,000 in forgivable loan assistance to low and moderate-income households with at least one senior citizen, to assist them in performing eligible major repairs, renovations, and accessibility modifications to their homes.
To qualify for this grant, you must not exceed the $36,075.00 gross annual income if you are a single homeowner, $44,160.00 for a household size of two people, $53,610.00 for three people, $64,320.00 for four people, $72,510.00 for five people, $81,435.00 for six people, and
$88,900.00 for seven or more persons.
The loan is structured as an interest-free lien on your registered property or mortgage that is valued at or under $476,197.
10% of the loan is forgiven per year which is fully forgiven after 10 years with no requirement for repayment.
The grant covers structural, electrical, plumbing, heating, septic systems, well water, windows, doors, siding, roofs, insulation, decks, improved accessibility, fire safety, and other safety-related repairs, and features.
2. Compassionate Appeals Programme (Hamilton)
This tax assistance program caters to elderly citizens and helps with tax reductions, so you don’t have to worry about things like taxes, and home renovation costs. Compassionate Appeals are for people who wish to receive a tax reduction due to age, extreme sickness, or poverty.
3. Seniors (65+) Tax Rebate Programme (Hamilton)
As part of Ontario’s effort to assist low-income seniors, this program provides a $186 property tax rebate to qualifying seniors whose homes are valued below $409,200. This will help to renovate certain parts of their home and get the structures ready for harsh weather conditions.
4. Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
This grant helps senior citizens in Ontario benefit from a tax and private housing rebate. Credit is provided to help low and moderate-income earners with property taxes and the sales tax on energy.
Seniors can receive up to $1,187, and if you live on a reserve or in a public long-term care home, you can receive up to $232 in additional housing funds.
5. Senior Citizens Home Repair Programme
Seniors who are over the age of 60, have qualifying incomes, and who need to repair and/or adapt their homes to ensure their continued safe occupancy, and/or to assist with difficulties they encounter with daily living activities, are eligible to receive a grant of up to $15,000.
How Do I Qualify For A Seniors’ Housing Repair Grant In Ontario?
To get funding for your home building and renovations, you will have to qualify for a seniors’ housing grant, and to achieve this, you will need to meet some essential criteria and standard protocol.
The initial two critical factors are your age (you must be over 65 years of age and older) – as the name suggests, these grants are only available to elderly citizens, and your income.
In other provinces and organizations, you are considered an elderly citizen if you are 55 years old or older, but in Ontario, you will be considered an elderly citizen when you turn 65. This will automatically qualify you for any seniors’ housing grants.
Your income is also a significant factor in determining if you qualify for housing grants designed for seniors. These programs generally help to reduce the cost of improving your home if you earn below a certain income class. The specific income varies across individuals and homes. You’ll need to look at each program you plan to apply for to know if you meet the income conditions.
Other eligibility factors are:
- You have to be a resident of Ontario or at least, you have to be a resident within the year you apply for a grant.
- You or your spouse or common-law partner must own and occupy a principal residence, for which you or someone on your behalf paid Ontario property tax within the year you are applying for a grant.
- You or the applicant must have not been confined to a prison or similar institution within the application year, and for the next 179 days.
- You must file a yearly income tax and benefit return.
How Do I Apply For A Seniors’ Housing Grant In Ontario?
To apply for a senior housing grant in Ontario, you have to file an income tax and benefit return for the previous year, and also complete the application form for the grant you are applying for. Most times, application forms are included in the tax package for residents of Ontario.
If you are married or living in a common-law relationship, then only one spouse or common-law partner can apply for the grant for both of you. Make sure to provide your spouse’s or partner’s net income.
Also, if only one spouse or common-law partner is 64 years of age or older during the year of application, that spouse or common-law partner has to apply for both of you, and the applicant is the only person entitled to claim the home renovation grant on behalf of your household.
If your principal residence is jointly owned with one or more persons other than your spouse or common-law partner, you can only claim the grant for your share of the property.