VA Grant Program Can Help Remodelors Meet Veterans’ Special Needs
Looking for a way to help make a home fit a disabled veteran’s needs? The solution might be made possible through a Specially Adapted Housing grant to the veteran from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program provides assistance for construction or remodeling of an accessible home for those veterans who live with serious service-connected disabilities.
The SAH benefit is very important for some of our nations’ most seriously disabled veterans. Since the beginning of the SAH program in 1948, over 32,000 veterans have used their eligibility resulting in distribution of grant funds totaling over $565 million to either build new homes or adapt existing homes. The program has taken on additional significance recently as a way to help veterans who have suffered serious injuries as a result of service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Generally, if a veteran is determined to be 100% permanently service-connected disabled and requires a wheelchair, VA can provide SAH grant assistance. The amount of the grant may be up to 50% of the total cost of adapted housing, with a current maximum of $50,000, for the purpose of acquiring a home that is adapted to accommodate that disability.
Grants are provided to veterans who require the use of prostheses, braces, crutches or a wheelchair to ambulate. Once VA determines that a veteran is eligible for a grant based on the nature and extent of the disability, VA field staff work closely with the veteran and the contractor to resolve impediments of existing features and architecture and to redesign the home for wheelchair accessibility. In many cases, the veteran desires to design and construct a new home or build a substantial addition to an existing home to accommodate his or her special needs.
Examples of adaptations would be wider door openings and hallways, master bedrooms with sufficient clear space for maneuvering, specially designed closet and storage areas, fixtures for the bathroom that are wheelchair accessible to include a roll-in shower, kitchen layouts to accommodate wheelchair use to include accessible appliances, work areas and adjustable counter and cabinet systems and accessible entrances/exits.
In addition, a second grant program provides adaptations of up to $10,000 for veterans who are blind in both eyes or have suffered the loss or loss of use of both hands.
Members who are interested in participating in this worthy program may obtain more detailed information from the VA Specially Adapted Housing website at www.homeloans.va.gov/sah.htm, or by calling the VA Regional Loan Center that serves their area.
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