Home Modification Loans Available at 0% to 3% Interest

May 5, 2009

Filed under: Living at Home — Tags: , — Alexis @ 4:43 PM

Many elders and disabled folks are doing well living at home, but their house needs some modification to make life a little easier.  Maybe it’s building a wheelchair ramp to the front door, widening doorways, modifying the kitchen and bathroom, or installing a lift.  Whatever it might be, the state is providing very low- or no-cost loans to homeowners and to landlords of small buildings (under 10 units).

Loans are for up to $30,000 and are based on very generous income guidelines.  For example, a two-person household with an annual income of up to $72,200 qualify for the 0% loans, and couples with incomes up to $144,400 qualify for the 3% loans.  The 0% loans are repaid when the house is later sold, and the 3% loans are paid back on a monthly basis within 5 – 10 years of the time the loan is made.

This is a great opportunity to make those one or two modifications to your home that would make it much easier to remain there longer.

For full details, see the Home Loan Modification Program’s website, or for South Shore residents, call Mary Ann Walsh at the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, 508.202.5919.

Being Paid to Care for Your Parents

January 28, 2009

As their parents have needed increased hands-on care and errand-running, many “Boomers” have been squeezed trying to juggle caring for their parents and performing well at work.  Our current economy has produced a mixed blessing for some – lost jobs means time to address their parents’ needs, but without economic security.

One solution is a “caregiver contract.”  This is a written agreement between the parents and the adult children, laying out tasks the child will perform and a rate of pay.  Set up along with worker’s compensation and the usual payroll deductions, this provides an income stream to the caregiver while giving the parent what most elders want – being cared for by her own family.  Only an elder law attorney familiar with the ever-changing rules of Medicaid should draft a caregiver contract, so that it will protect the elder in the event she needs nursing home care in the future.  If not done correctly, a caregiving arrangement can result in a later denial of MassHealth nursing home benefits.

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