Who in my community can help me make these changes?
Several housing foundations serve the needs of low-income families in our region:
- City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County: Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP)
- Fluvanna and Louisa counties: Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation
- Greene, Madison and Orange counties: Skyline CAP
- Nelson County: The Nelson County Community Development Foundation (NCCDF)
Each of the service providers offer two separate programs that can assist low-to-moderate income households make their home more accessible. An Emergency Home Repair program assists homeowners with minor, but urgent, repairs to allow them use their home. Although the program is not exclusively for persons with a disability, certainly a home can become suddenly inaccessible in event of a debilitating medical condition. An emergency home repair, such as the installation of ramps or grab bars, could quickly add at least a minimum level of accessibility.
For longer-term projects, housing rehabilitation programs are the more applicable option. A variety of grants are used by the housing foundations to supplement what the homeowner is able to pay for accessibility improvements.
Virginia Easy Access Many Virginia state agencies and organizations teamed up to create one website to help seniors and persons with a disability find necessary services. The section on housing gives some links to modification resources.
Virginia Housing Search The Virginia Housing Search is not a website for modifications, but it does allow users to search for available rentals within an area that meet accessibility criteria.
Independence Resource Center Located on Cherry Avenue in Charlottesville, the Independence Resource Center is the designated Center of Independent Living for our region. They are able to assist persons with disabilities with a variety of needs including home modification. The center is affiliated with Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services.
Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) JABA offers a comprehensive set of services to the aging population in this region. The Voice your Choice program helps households that do not qualify for medicare live independently through a variety of avenues, including assistance with home modifications.
Other Disability Services The region has a number of disability services organizations that may not deal directly with home modification but can help guide clients to places that can meet their specific needs. Arc of the Piedmont and Region Ten are organizations that assist developmentally or intellectually disabled persons and their families.
Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) The National Association of Homebuilders certifies building professionals who specialize in helping homeowners modify their house to meet their special needs. CAPS professionals play the role of front-line assistance, and they have the ability to coordinate the home medication effort from different sources. The CAPS professionals in our area are:
Randy Rinehart Charlottesville: Rinehart Homes Ltd.
Scott Abbott Charlottesville: Dwell General Contracting
Shareef Tahboub Charlottesville: Rosewood Village
Michael Hammond Keswick: Nest Home Health Modifications
Raymond Cardinale Palmyra: New Horizon Builders
James Maust Harrisonburg: Venture Builders
Jonathan Fishbeck Ruckersville: BuilderFish
Temporary Ramp Installation The Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation will help residents of these two counties install portable, modular aluminum ramps to those needing a ramp for short or undetermined periods.
The company Amramp provides metal ramps either for rent or purchase that can be installed and removed easily. Home consultations are free. The company provides service to all areas of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District.
Private Screening Services Several websites screen contractors and builders to provide a preapproved list for customers. All of the following companies will specify contractors who specialize in home modifications
My Home for Life The Jefferson Area Board of Aging (JABA) helped launch the paid subscription service My Home for Life. The purpose is to help homeowners live independently as they age by making referrals for home repairs and handling all of the paperwork and negotiation with contractors. The vendors they work with have significant experience in accessibility modifications.
Angies List Angies lists is a nationwide private screening service that uses consumer feedback to grade contractors in the area. There is a monthly membership fee for access to the information.
Service Magic Service Magic is a nationwide private website that allows search of their preapproved list by area and type of job. To see the list requires free registration.