The HAFI program offers funding for eligible low-income seniors and people with disabilities in British Columbia. The program is designed to help these individuals make changes to their homes that allow them to live comfortably and safely.
In this post we’ll explain the different kinds of eligible HAFI renovations. For an overview of the program, more information on eligibility and how to complete your HAFI application, click here.
Eligible HAFI Renovations
BC’s Home Adaptations For Independence program covers a variety of renovations.
These adaptations/equipment should directly address the disability, condition, or diminished ability of the occupants of the household. Generally speaking, these renovations should be permanent and fixed to the home, although exceptions can be made for certain equipment that may help an occupant access a permanent part of the house (such as a bath lift).
HAFI renovations are divided into the following categories:
Approaching and Entering the Dwelling
This covers adaptations made to the entrance points of the house. These adaptations should provide safe access to areas such as the driveway, the street, or any other areas used for recreation and/or household chores (such as the garden).
These renovations may include but are not limited to:
- The widening of walkways and parking spaces to allow for the easy use of mobility aids.
- The modification of doors and doorways.
- Leveling surfaces on either sides of an entrance door.
- The construction and installation of ramps or elevating devices.
- The construction and installation of a canopy to shelter the entrance to the house as well as ramps and elevation aids.
- The purchase and installation of an automatic garage door opener.
- The purchase and installation of a transfer aid allowing a person to be moved into and out of a mobility aid. This may include, for example, a trapeze in the garage to allow a person to transfer from a vehicle to a wheelchair.
Getting Around the Dwelling
This category mainly covers adaptations made inside the house. They should provide safe and easy access to various parts of the home.
These renovations include:
- The modification of entrance hallways, corridors, archways, or doorways in order to improve safety and accessibility.
- The installation of new flooring.
- The installation of equipment to protect floors, walls, and other parts of the house from mobility aids.
- The purchase and installation of handrails or grab bars to provide stability in corridors, hallways, stairways, and more.
- The purchase and installation of interior elevating devices. This includes various types of lifts.
- The construction and installation of interior ramps.
- The modification of stairs. This can include widening treads, lowering or adding risers, installing non-slip surfaces, and much more. Stair lifts fall under elevating devices and are covered by HAFI.
This category covers renovations to the dwelling’s electrical systems, such as lighting. These adaptations include:
- The relocating of existing light switches as well as the installation of new switches.
- The installation of new electrical outlets as well as raising/relocating existing outlets.This also extends to the installation of specialist outlets, such as a powerpoint capable of recharging the battery of a mobility aid.
- The installation of new lighting fixtures to accommodate for visual impairment and improve safety. This can include lighting in areas such as stairs, ramps, doorways, laundry areas and entrances.
- The installation of alarm systems. This extends to security alarms as well as multi-cue fire or gas alarms.
- Lowering or relocating the electrical panel of the house for easy and safe access. This also covers upgrades to the electrical panel to accommodate increased power loads for equipment.
Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation and Cooling:
This includes the modification of any existing plumbing in order to accommodate for eligible adaptations, as well renovations that ensure occupants can safely access and operate heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.
These adaptations include but are not limited to:
- Lowering or relocating controls for heating, ventilation, or cooling systems.
- Enclosing or insulating radiators and heating pipes to protect occupants.
- Installation of ventilation. This is only eligible for occupants suffering from disabling allergies or environmental sensibilities.
This covers renovations and adaptations to allow safe and comfortable use of the kitchen area, such as:
- Modification of the layout of the kitchen for improved safety and accessibility.
- Installation of secondary switches for appliances.
- Modifying kitchen counters and sink areas. This can include height adjustment, recessing, installing lever-style faucets, new handles on drawers/cabinets, and more.
- Provision of space. This may include installing built-in appliances like stove tops, ovens, and dishwashers.
This covers adaptations and renovations to ensure occupants can safely access the bathroom. These may include:
- Modification of the layout of the bathroom. If it is not possible to modify the bathroom to meet the occupant’s needs, funding may be provided to build a new bathroom.
- Modification of the bathing area. This may include installing wheel-in showers, walk-in tubs, lifts, bathing chairs (both permanent and portable), lever-style faucets or hand-held shower heads. The installation of a jet tub may also be considered if deemed necessary.
- Modification of the sink area. This can include recessing, installing lever-style faucets, insulation piping, and more.
- Lowering, relocating, or installing countertops, vanities, medicine cabinets, or a change table.
- Installation of a raised toilet and/or bidet.
This category generally covers renovations in the bedroom, laundry, dining, and living areas of the home. These may include:
- Layout modifications to improve safety and accessibility. If it is not possible to modify the laundry to meet the occupant’s needs, funding may be provided to build a new laundry.
- Installation of grab bars, hand rails, and vertical poles for stability.
- Installation of permanently fixed equipment, such as elevation devices, transfer tracks, and more.
- Modification of the laundry room. This can include the installation of accessible storage areas, lever-type faucets, a sorting table, a permanently fixed drying rack, and accessible tub, and more.
Extensions and Conversions
This covers construction costs for adding additional floor space to provide accessibility for mobility devices.
Multiple Unit Buildings
This category covers adaptations for buildings that are subdivided into numerous units. These adaptations may include:
- Installation of signage that may be useful in common areas like laundry rooms, entrances/exits, emergency exits, and elevators.
- Modification of elevator panels.
What renovations are not eligible for HAFI funding?
The following adaptations and renovations are not eligible for HAFI funding:
- Reparations or replacements of any systems.
- Installation of any equipment for energy efficient purposes.
- Extensions for any purpose other than directly addressing a person’s disability or diminished ability.
- The purchase of equipment, systems, or appliances other than those specified above.
- The purchase of mobility aids such as walkers.
For more information about the BC’s HAFI program and questions regarding eligible adaptations/equipment, contact Home2Stay.