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Grants for wheelchair ramps

Rensselaer County is offering grants for wheelchair ramps, widening doorways and other home modifications so that the elderly and disabled can remain in their home. The Access to Home Program offers up to $25,000 to those that meet the income requirements, which they determine by income and the number of people in the household.

The grant program helps with the financial pressures of environmental modifications that are sometimes necessary to accommodate special needs kids and adults. The costs, on top of medical needs and the extra expenses associated with people with disabilities, sometimes push much needed home alterations to the end of the to do list.

Permanent ramps are generally made of wood or concrete, but the most important consideration is the slope of the ramp. Generally, the American Disabilities Act recommends the ratio is 1 to 12 inches of elevation meaning if the entry is 12 inches off the ground, the ramp should be at least 12 feet long.

Applicants must be residents of Rensselaer County and they can either own or rent their homes. The homes must be up to date on insurance, mortgage and property taxes at the time of application and when the work starts, and you must sigh a five-year grant enforcement lien. The lien for the amount granted is decreased by 20% each year and expires after the fifth year.

The Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program, Inc. (TRIP) sponsors the program and you can call them at 518 690-0020, ext.223 to request an application or for more information. For other county programs or information on other programs in New York State, the New York State Homes & Community Renewal website can provide additional information.

If you have comments or questions, please contact Pat Wright.