NDP Investment Will Help More Seniors Stay at Home Longer

August 13, 2013

The NDP is making it easier for seniors to get the help they need to continue to live safely and comfortably in their own homes.

Premier Darrell Dexter today, Aug. 13, announced an extra $1 million a year to the program that helps Nova Scotians 65 years of age or older who wish to remain in their own homes, but cannot afford to carry out necessary repairs.

“Seniors want to stay in their homes and live independently, and with dignity, in their communities as long as they can,” said Premier Dexter. “This investment will help them do that. Seniors should not have to leave their homes before they are ready.”

The Seniors Citizens Assistance Program grant has already helped more than 900 senior households pay for expensive repairs to their homes.

“I have lived in my home 68 years and hope to be here many more thanks to this program,” said Dorothy Miles, 94. “This is so truly appreciated and it does keep seniors in their homes longer; it is utterly fantastic.”

To be eligible for the funding, repair projects must address health and safety issues in the home. These can include roofing repairs, plumbing, heating and electrical.

“Often the support that can make the biggest difference to seniors isn’t a new development, but modifying their current homes to allow them to live surrounded by friends, neighbours and family,” said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Community Services. “Providing better support for seniors, persons with disabilities and others with vulnerabilities for their housing will be a key part of our housing strategy.”

The funding increase will take effect next year. It is the second increase in the Seniors Citizens Assistance Program since 2010. It brings annual funding for the program to $5.9 million. The maximum grant for home repairs is $6,500.

For more information, visit http://novascotia.ca/coms/housing/seniors/SeniorCitizensAssistance.html .

Seniors can also receive housing support through the Home Adaption for Seniors Independence Program. The program helps seniors improve accessibility in and around their homes, such as funding for ramps, grab bars in bathrooms and showers, and other renovations and devices to improve mobility.

In addition to the investment in Seniors Assistance Program, the province has also increased the seniors property tax rebate to $800.