Bill to Give Seniors Credit to Modify Homes Gains Momentum

Home modifications are proven to help keep seniors at home longer through retirement and to save Medicare dollars, which may be why a bill to provide a tax credit for adjustments at home is gaining traction.

The bill, Senior Accessible Housing Act, allows qualified individuals to claim a tax credit up to a lifetime limitation of $30,000. Qualified individuals are those 60 or older. The bill intends to reduce greater long-term costs associated with falls or the need for assisted living.

The credit can apply to a number of expenditures for home modifications, including the installation of entrance and exit ramps; the widening of doorways; the installation of handrails or grab bars; the installation of non-slip flooring; and more.

“Giving seniors the option to live more independently in their own home is less costly and can improve their quality of life,” Congress Charlie Crist (D-FL), co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “Providing tax credits for home modifications is smart policy—it’s better for our seniors and better for our communities.”

Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) is also a co-sponsor.

Even small home modifications, like new bannisters, can reduce the overall risk that seniors will fall and be admitted to the hospital, according to recent research from Johns Hopkins.

Since the bill was introduced in Congress in March, a coalition group, HomesRenewed, has taken up the cause of advocating for the bill.

Written by Amy Baxter

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