Seniors get some help to stay in their own homesTuesday, October 02, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
Ontario seniors are getting some assistance to renovate their homes so they can live there more safely and remain independent longer.
Qualifying seniors who own or rent homes, and people who share a home with a senior relative, will be able to receive a tax credit worth up to $1,500 each year, following passage of the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit Act.
According to a Ministry of Health and Long-term Care news release, another benefit includes reducing pressures on hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Common eligible home modifications include: stair lifts, walk-in bathtubs and showers, and wheelchair ramps.
Other examples are:
• Certain renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior
• Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower handrails in corridors
• Widening passage doors
• Lowering existing counters/cupboards
• Installing adjustable counters/cupboards
• Light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
• Door locks that are easy to operate
• Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs;
• Pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
• Non-slip flooring in the bathroom
• A hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets
• Additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
• Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
• Creation of knee space under the basin to enable use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
• Relocation of tap to front or side for easier access; hands-free taps; motion-activated lighting; and
• Touch-and-release drawers and cupboards.
Homeowners should save their receipts for eligible expenses made on or after October 1, 2011.
Seniors at all income levels can qualify for the tax credit.
From 2012 onward, it can be claimed on the Personal Income Tax return for 15 percent of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses per year.