Accessible Housing Within Reach
State Program Helps Counties Remove Housing Barriers for Persons with Disabilities
Bertha Hill had no problems getting about when she first moved into her Austin home nearly 40 years ago. But age eventually caught up with her, and she became increasingly frail and less able to move around the house.
Simple tasks like reaching up to her kitchen cabinets now required a dangerous balancing act on a step ladder. Bertha realized that her home’s layout was the main source of her problems; however, rehabbing it was beyond what she could afford on her meager income.
Unfortunately, she isn’t alone. There are thousands of low income Texans with disabilities whose independence is threatened less by their physical condition than by the design of their home.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) recognized this unmet need and created the Amy Young Barrier Removal Program to help remove barriers to accessible housing for low income persons with disabilities.
Named in honor of a longtime advocate for persons with disabilities who died in 2009, the state-funded program provides grants to county governments to widen doors, adjust countertops and cabinets, install walk-in showers and elevated toilets, and make other home alterations for persons with disabilities.
The program not only helped finance modifications to Bertha’s home, bringing cabinets and countertops within reach, it also helped construct a new ramp for her home.
TDHCA is actively seeking interested local contract administrators, and the Department encourages counties like yours to apply. But hurry – the funds may go quickly.
Contact the Housing Trust Fund Division toll free at 800-462-4251 or by e-mail at email@example.com and learn how easy and rewarding it can be to administer funds through the $4 million Amy Young Barrier Removal Program.
As Bertha can attest, it takes more than a step ladder to reach a higher quality of life. H – By Gordon Anderson, public information officer, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
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Form of Assistance
§ One-time grant of up to $20,000 per home for accessibility and the elimination of hazardous conditions.
§ Units of local government, nonprofit organizations, and public housing authorities.
§ Administrating entities must demonstrate knowledge of accessibility guidelines and applicable construction standards.
§ Administration fees are 10 percent of the project cost paid upon completion of each project.
§ Simple three-step application process:
1. Review the Amy Young Barrier Removal Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) at www.tdhca.state.tx.us/nofa.htm.
2. Sign and return the one-page application with attachments to access the new funding reservation system.
3. Start reserving grant funds on behalf of qualified persons with disabilities (up to $20,000 per household).
Eligible Household Beneficiaries
§ Persons with disabilities at or below 80 percent Area Median Family Income (AMFI) who are tenants, homeowners, or their household members with disabilities.