Nonprofits Eligible for New $30M Home Modification Program

Regulation | March 04, 2021 | by Linda Couch

HUD has issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for a new program, the Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP), to enable low income older adult homeowners to remain in their homes through low cost, low barrier, high impact home modifications to reduce older adults’ risk of falling, improve general safety, increase accessibility, and to improve their functional abilities in their home. The NOFA will provide grants to experienced nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities to undertake this work.

HUD has issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for a new program, the Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP), to enable low income older adult homeowners to remain in their homes through low cost, low barrier, high impact home modifications to reduce older adults’ risk of falling, improve general safety, increase accessibility, and to improve their functional abilities in their home. The NOFA will provide grants to experienced nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities to undertake this work.

As designed by HUD, the OAHMP model primarily relies on the expertise of a licensed Occupational Therapist (OT) to ensure that the home modification addresses the client’s specific goals and needs and promotes their full participation in daily life activities. To help maximize the breadth of the program, the OAHMP also supports using licensed OT Assistants whose work under the grant is overseen by licensed OTs. “The OAHMP model also encourages a person-centered approach that motivates and supports older adults as they identify their goals and learn to function safely in their home,” the NOFA says.

In the NOFA, HUD refers to two key research findings that led to the establishment of the OAHMP. First, research has demonstrated that, under certain conditions, home modification can significantly reduce the risk of falling among community-dwelling elderly persons. Second, research has also demonstrated that professional assessment and home modification can significantly decrease disability among community-dwelling elderly persons.

When establishing the program, congressional appropriators urged HUD to look to the Baltimore-based Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living in Elders (CAPABLE) as a model for the new program. The CAPABLE program uses a team that includes an OT, a registered nurse, and a home modifier (i.e., handyman) to conduct an assessment and home modification to improve the functional ability of clients.

The NOFA is for $30 million; at least 50% of funding under this NOFA will be made available to grantees that serve communities with substantial rural populations, as defined in the NOFA.

Applications for the $30 million competition are due to HUD by May 4, 2021. For more information, see HUD’s OAHMP website.