The MDI Housing Authority staff who will be administering the new home modification program are, from left, Program Supervisor Allie Bodge, Program Coordinator John Mountford and Maintenance Technician Derek Murphy. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HOUSING AUTHORITY

Housing Authority launches home modification program

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island and Ellsworth Housing Authorities are the recipient of a $50,000 grant from Maine Housing for its affiliate Acadia Community Association. The grant will be used to administer a home modification program, entitled “Comfortably Home.”

The Comfortably Home Program’s objective is to make basic but high-impact home safety improvements that would allow elderly and disabled individuals to age in place in their own homes.

The Housing Authorities seek homeowners from the Mount Desert Island towns of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor and Tremont who are interested in working with the Comfortably Home Program to address or correct basic safety issues in and around their home. There will be no cost to the homeowner, and most of the work could be completed in a day or less.

The four-step process would begin with a phone call to the Housing Authorities from interested homeowners. This initial conversation would be centered on the homeowners needs, and would be followed by a home visit, or assessment, of the property as led by the homeowner.

After the assessment, the homeowner and the Housing Authority staff would collaborate to develop a work plan that would address issues found during the home visit.

Thereafter, time would be scheduled for maintenance personnel to complete the work. Typical work items may include: smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, grab bars, hand-held shower heads, transfer benches, raised toilet seats, handrails, cleaning dryer vents, changing door knobs and drawer pulls, and minor repairs to steps and existing ramps.

The Comfortably Home Program has met with success in other communities statewide, and will be a great addition to the services that The Housing Authorities’ Acadia Community Association already offers, services that ensure that members of the community are afforded the opportunity to safely age in place.

To qualify for the program, residents must live in one of the areas mentioned above, be at least 55 years old or have a disability, own their home or live in a house owned by a family member, and have an annual household income of $38,300 or under for a single person, $43,800 or under for a two person household, or $49,250 or under for three person family.

Contact 288-4770.

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