January 29, 2015

Rental Unit Accessibility Modification Grant Program Helps Make Rental Homes More Accessible

Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2014 Community Outreach Report.

Since 2003, VHDA has provided financial assistance to people with disabilities through our Rental Unit Accessibility Modification (RUAM) grant. The program began as an outreach effort between VHDA and the Christopher Reeve Foundation and has helped over 720 households throughout the Commonwealth.

Financial assistance to make housing more accessible is provided through the REACH Virginia program. VHDA’s RUAM grant helps pay for modifications to rental units occupied by the elderly, adults with disabilities and families of children with disabilities who earn 80 percent or less of the area median income (AMI). Grant funds up to $2,800 per unit may be used to widen doorways, lower countertops, install wheelchair ramps and make other modifications that improve accessibility and safety.

An example of services provided through the program was when Virginia Supportive Housing (VSH), a not-for-profit that provides permanent housing with support services, requested help to make modifications to the eight-room Brain Injury Center (Bliley Manor) in Southside Richmond. As a result, each room was equipped with an ADA toilet seat, vanity with new faucets and handles, medicine cabinet, shelving fixture, towel and grab bars, and a 3.6 CF refrigerator.

Working together with a variety of interested stakeholders is part of what makes this strategic initiative successful. The grant program is promoted on VirginiaHousingSearch.com, AccessVa.org and vhda.com/AccessibleRentalHousing.

For details, contact Community Outreach Grant Coordinator Debbie Griner at 804-343-5579 or Debbie.Griner@vhda.com.
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