Crist, Suozzi Introduce Bill to Empower Seniors to Stay in Their Homes Longer

U.S Representatives Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) and Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) introduced the Home Modification for Accessibility Act, legislation that provides tax incentives for home modifications so seniors and those with disabilities can more easily and safely continue living in their own homes. Under this legislation, homeowners will be able to take proactive measures to modify and update their homes, allowing them to safely and comfortably age in place, and creating new job opportunities for skilled laborers and contractors.

“Given the option, the vast majority of seniors and people with disabilities want to stay in their own home for as long as possible. It’s more comfortable, less costly, and improves quality of life,” said Rep. Crist. “Unfortunately, many homes lack accessibility upgrades to make this a reality for seniors on fixed incomes and people with disabilities. That’s why I introduced the Home Modification for Accessibility Act – to provide tax incentives so that more Floridians have the option to live and age safely in their own home. It’s the right thing to do!”

“We have a storm coming, with the number of disabled elders expected to double in the coming years. Fewer family caregivers are available for these aging Americans and the market for long-term care insurance is not currently sufficient to address these demographic challenges,” said Rep. Suozzi. “We must do all we can to ensure New Yorkers have the option to live and age safely in the comfort of their own home.”

“This bill will help correct a fundamental injustice in American life. While we’re living longer and healthcare is increasingly conducted at home, the country’s housing stock is not meeting our daily and safety needs,” said Louis Tenenbaum, founder and president, HomesRenewed Coalition. “Incentives outlined in this bill will encourage people to demand building and renovation designs that support aging in place with joy, dignity and independence,” added Tenenbaum. “Over time, these features will become the norm, benefiting individuals, families, the healthcare system and our economy.”

Background on the Home Modification for Accessibility Act

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that roughly 90 percent of people ages 65+ would prefer to age in their homes rather than moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home. When compared, aging at home is cheaper and more cost effective than having to live in a nursing home where room costs can average anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 a month.

The Home Modification for Accessibility Act empowers Americans to make decisions about where and how they live by offsetting the costs associated with making home modifications through a penalty free early retirement withdrawal and lifetime tax deduction of up to $30,000. This will reduce injuries and subsequent medical costs associated with falls, as well as drive development and investment in the market and create new job opportunities for skilled laborers and contractors.

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