CountyCorp administers the Home Safety Enhancement Program for the Montgomery County Department of Community and Economic Development. Grants for up to $2,500 are available for modest home modifications to assist seniors and individuals with physical disabilities. Funds are available for owner-occupants and renters who live in Montgomery County, but outside the Cities of Kettering and Dayton. Priority will be given to seniors 62 or older, veterans, and persons with disabilities. To be eligible, the household’s income cannot exceed 80% of the median income based on the number of people living in the home.
The goal of the program is to prevent accidents and keep people in their homes. The three leading causes of home injuries according to The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control are falls, burns, and poisoning. Seniors are especially susceptible to these types of injuries that can jeopardize their independent living. The modifications made to the property must be permanent and attached to the real estate.
With falls as the number one cause for injury, occupants should look at adding items like grab bars to showers, tubs, and toilets. An additional railing installed to give a person both sides to grasp greatly improves balance and can prevent dangerous falls. Besides having adequate and functioning smoke alarms in case of fire as a primary way to prevent burns and life threatening situation, there are many other safety issues that can be addressed such as better lighting, non-slip surfaces, and removing trip hazards.
The program funds can also be applied toward the cost the resident would pay for more expensive home modifications, such as a roll-in shower or adding an exterior ramp.
Maximum income cannot exceed 80% of the area median income based on the number of people who live in the household.
# in HH 1 2 3 4 5 6
80% max $34,800 $39,750 $44,750 $49,700 $53,700 $57,650
Please contact Jennifer Babros, Housing Specialist at CountyCorp for more information or to apply for the program at 937-531-7038. For your convenience, CountyCorp can take an application over the phone.
The list is examples of modifications that would improve safety. Some will exceed the dollar amount of the grant and may not be feasible if the occupant doesn’t have additional resources to add to the project. The type of modification depends on the needs of the occupant.
- Adequate & functioning smoke alarms located in the appropriate locations
- Location of space heaters, portable electric generators, and excessive number of plugs in electrical outlets or extension cords.
Enter and exit of the home
- At least one no-step entry with canopy/awning for protection
- Walkway path with little or no slope and 36-inches wide
- Surface to place packages on when opening the door
- Accessible level doorbell
- 36-inch wide door (to accommodate 32 inches width)
- Lever-style door handles
- Non-slip flooring in interiors by main doors to the outside (foyers)
- High/low peephole viewer
- Ramp to doorway if required
Up & down stairs
- Sturdy hand rails on both sides of stairways, 11/4-inch diameter
- Contrast strips on top and bottom stairs to increase visibility
- Color contrast between treads and risers on stairs and use of lighting
- Stair treads are 10 to 11-inches deep, wide enough for entire foot
- Stair rise is no more than 7-inches from one step to the next
- Multi-story homes may provide either pre-framed shaft (i.e. stacked closets) for future elevator, or stairway width must be a minimum of 4 feet to allow space for a stair lift.
- Carpet stretching to eliminate trip hazard
Safety in the bathroom
- Bracing in the walls around the tub, shower, shower seat, and toilet for installing grab bars to support 250 pounds.
- Curb-less shower with minimum of 36-inches width
- Fold down seat in the shower
- Hand held adjustable shower heads with 6-foot hose
- Offset from center tub/shower controls
- Slip-resistant flooring in bathroom and shower
- Toilet 2.5-inches higher than standard (17 to 19-inches) with adjustable height.
- Wall-hung sink to accommodate knee space with a panel to protect user from pipes
- Bathtub with door for in/out ease, or a bath lift
- Color contrast edge borders at counter tops
Wheelchair maneuverable bath on main level with 60-inch turning radius or t-turn space for 36-inch by 36-inch or 30-inch by 48-inch clear space.