Financial assistance for home-owners and those with disabilities

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Added: Wed, 02/12/2014 - 8:18pm
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Allyson Beauregard

PONTIAC & MRC PONTIAC – Are you a home owner, with a modest income,        living in a dwelling that has one or more major defects? Or are you someone with a disability that limits your capacity to       perform everyday activities who could benefit from having your home altered so you can enter, leave and access the rooms and everyday utilities? The Société d’habitation du Québec offers two programs that could help those in either situation: the Renovillage Program and the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program.
The Renovillage program’s purpose is to allow low-income households living in rural areas to have work done on their home if it has one or more major defects could include work to be done to the     structure, heating, electricity, plumbing, etc.
To be eligible, one must own and occupy their home, and have an annual income that does not exceed the maximum eligible income level; this varies according to the size of the household. For example, a      family of four, with a combined income of less than $24,600 may be eligible to receive 90% of the eligible costs, up to a maximum of $10,000.
After confirming eligibility, an authorized inspector will visit the home to draw up a list of repairs, which will be used to obtain one or more bids from licensed  contractors. If everything is in order, an eligibility certificate showing the amount of the assistance will be issued, allowing the homeowner to start the work. Upon     completion, an inspector will visit to make sure the work has been completed and that it is up to standards.
The second program available is the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program (RAAP), which aids those with disabilities to modify their homes to better suit their needs, such as installing an outside access ramp, rearranging a bathroom, widening door frames etc. Most homes are eligible, including apartment buildings. Grants of up to $16,000 are available. In certain specific cases, the SHQ may pay additional financial assistance of up to $7,000. In cases requiring specialized equipment, additional assistance of up to $10,000 may also be paid, based on certain criteria identified by the SHQ.
“The program is about keeping people in their homes for as long as we can,” said Louis Caron, SHQ Programs Inspector at the MRC Pontiac. In cases where an      individual progressively loses mobility, the RAAP is adaptable. “The program         progressively follows you so everything is done according to your needs as they progress,” explained Caron.   
Those interested can contact Caron at 819-648-5689     ext: 227 or by emailing inspecteur.shq@mrcpontiac.qc.ca.