Access to Home
Access to Home is provided by the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC), through the New York State Office of Community Renewal (ORC). The program provides financial and technical assistance to make residential units accessible for low- and moderate-income persons with disabilities. Renovations using Access to Home funds must be made only to make modifications to a dwelling unit that will result in allowing the person with a disability to remain in the home (avoid being placed in an institutional setting) or to return to the home from an institutional setting. Funds can be used for repairs/improvements as well as permits and fees associated with such improvements.
What properties are eligible? The primary residence of a person with a disability
• Owner occupied
• Rental units- both owners and tenants are eligible (tenants with approval from owner)
What are the income requirements?
• Total household income does not exceed 80% of area median income (AMI) or-
• A disabled veteran who has a total household income that does not exceed 120% of AMI
Who is eligible?
• Occupants located within the City of Buffalo
• Occupant with a permanent, medically documented disability (under 80% AMI)
• Occupant with substantial difficulty with daily living due to aging (under 80% AMI)
• Veterans (under 120% AMI)
o Must have a service-related disability
o Must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense as entitled to receive disability payments for a disability incurred during a time of war
o Service-related disability must have happened due to wartime service- at least 90 consecutive days of peacetime service with at least 1 day of wartime service (see program description for list of wartime periods according to current law)
o Veteran need not have served in combat zone
• Assistance will not be provided to units where serious health and/or safety issues that are beyond the scope of Access to Home requirements are present
• Property owners who are obligated to provide these improvements as a condition of receiving government assistance are not eligible
• Substantial renovations (such as kitchen or bathroom remodels) are not eligible
• Replacement of appliances not related to accessibility unless there is a prominent health or safety hazard are not eligible
• Repairs to non-dwelling structures are not eligible
• Units that receive assistance through Access to Home are subject to use restrictions of a Property Maintenance Declaration (PMD) for three (3) years after the date of the most recent repair completion
o If owner occupied, owner must sign PMD. If unit is occupied by a renter, owner must sign PMD.
o PMD states that the owner will (a) maintain the unit in good operating order and condition, (b) not sell, move, demolish, or materially alter the property without prior written consent of the LPA, and (c) if the improved unit becomes vacant during the Regulatory Period, market the unit and make it affordable to persons of low-income and living with a disability
o PMD is subordinate to a lien
• Only work deemed necessary for meeting accessibility goals can be performed so that assistance may be provided to as many eligible persons as possible
• All work done needs to meet applicable codes, standards, and regulations
• Renovations on rental properties:
o Must remain affordable to low-income households for 5 years
o Must be affirmatively marketed to persons with disabilities (if unit is vacated by tenant that initially received assistance)
o Must be maintained in safe and habitable condition during the regulatory term
• If short-term relocation is needed due to improvements, those costs are eligible pending approval from Access to Home program staff prior to incurring of the cost