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CHRIC Offers Repair Programs For Owner-Occupied Homes

Our region has some of the oldest housing stock in the state of New York. According to the 2022-2024 Chautauqua County Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan (https://chqgov.com/sites/default/files/document-files/2023-01/CHQ.CHA–.2022.Final–.pdf), “Housing structures in the County are relatively old with 40.5% built in 1939 or earlier, compared to 31.0% in New York State. In Chautauqua County, 52.7% of homes were built prior to 1950, compared to 32.3% in New York State”. These homes might have been great when folks were younger, but as we age, they may need some work done to maintain the home or improve the safety of the home. You may need repairs, modifications or changes to an existing home to better meet your changed needs. Some of these needed repairs, modifications and upgrades come from local agencies, grants, local/state funding, even some types of health insurance can assist with home repairs or modifications.

The Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation & Improvement Corp., also known as CHRIC have repair programs for owner-occupied homes, classes for home owners to be and requests for contractors needed for work to be done here in the county. They have many programs targeted to specific communities or specific types of repairs. Each of these programs has its own set of guidelines for eligibility. Their website is http://www.chric.org/Rehab.html They are working with many villages and towns to assist with community development block grants (CDBG’s) in certain towns/villages for repairs or replacements of water wells, septic or water/sewer connections. There is a CDBG in the town of Ellington for replacement homes for those who own/live in manufactured homes/trailers in poor condition that can no longer be repaired. All the information is posted on their website. There is an application on the web site as well. CHRIC has a first time home buyers counseling program that can help you with budgets and preparing to buy a home. Classes cover: credit reports, budgeting, how to shop for a home, making the offer, financing and closing and more!

The Office for Aging Services also has a program that assists older adults with home repairs and modifications when needed. The Office for Aging Services have some funding to make home modifications and repairs for older adults homes. This could be safety options like a ramp, a modification to a bathroom or kitchen, or grab bars.

Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. is assisting homeowners in completing and submitting USDA Home Repair Program applications to USDA. For low-income homeowners 62 and over, grant funds up to $10,000 are available to remove health and safety hazards, or to remodel dwellings to make them accessible to a household member with a disability. Loan and grant combinations are also offered. Eligible properties must be in a rural area outside of city limits. The USDA Eligibility map can be searched for a specific address or to review general eligible areas https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/. The applicant must own and occupy a single-family home and lack the resources to meet repair needs. Manufactured homes must be on a permanent foundation and the applicant must own the land where they are situated. Applications are being accepted now as well as year-round. If you are interested, please reach out to Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. at the Jamestown (716-661-9430) or Dunkirk (716-366-8176) locations and ask to speak to a navigator to help you!

Insurances like Medicare advantage plans, Veterans care, private long term care insurance or Medicaid- (managed long term care -MLTC) may be able to pay for home modifications. Home modifications can become necessary for people who are older or have a chronic illness. Wheelchair ramps, widening of hallways, grab bars, and even simple improvements like brighter lighting are all home modifications that might help your loved one remain living independently, so they may be covered. The guiding principle for all is to keep people in their homes and delaying the move to nursing homes for as long as possible. Changing a house to make it safer and more accessible fulfills that goal. It is worth asking your insurance provider if they do cover these types of home modifications.

To obtain more information about home repairs for older or disabled people in our community, call NY Connects Helpline at (716) 753-4582 or e-mail us at CCNYC@chqgov.com NY Connects is the place to call to get the help you need. NY Connects assists people of all ages who have long-term needs and want to stay in the community. NY Connects offers information and assistance services. It is confidential and free and focused on the consumer’s needs and resources available to them. NY Connects is brought to you by the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services.

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