Program helps more seniors with utility, home repair costs

CINCINNATI — More senior people will have entry to funds to assistance include the rising prices of utilities and house repairs many thanks to a new Hamilton County application. The target is to permit as lots of seniors as achievable to continue on living independently in their have household.


What You Want To Know

  • Senior Utility Assistance and House Repair service Program gives fiscal assistance to seniors who really don’t qualify for other these kinds of packages
  • Hamilton County residents are qualified if they’re 60 or older and earn no far more than 300% of the poverty line
  • Eligible people can get up to $500 for utility guidance and added funds to make important modifications to their dwelling
  • The program is a partnership between Hamilton County and the Council on Ageing

The Senior Utility Support and Household Repair Application is a collaboration between the Hamilton County Commissioners and the Council on Growing old.

The $1 million pilot software will guide seniors who are not eligible for other utility and dwelling modification courses since of economical limitations. The county’s plan is for Hamilton County residents 60 and more mature whose earnings is up to 300% of the poverty degree.

For standpoint, that would necessarily mean a particular person who life could earn up to $40,770 and continue to be qualified. That variety goes up to $83,250 for a household of four people today.

Suitable inhabitants can get a onetime credit of up to $500 towards drinking water or fuel/electric powered expenses. The Dwelling Fix portion of the software addresses household modification and repairs for factors this sort of as ramps, railings, lavatory seize bars, HVAC mend or other maintenance to assistance more mature grownups go on residing at their household. 

Men and women can implement for a person or both features of the software.

“We required to make confident that there was no stone unturned in delivering relief to all of Hamilton County,” claimed Fee President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “We knew we required to assistance the seniors who had been hurting but ended up not able to access other support programs. This method deliberately targets them.”

The value of residing rose considerably in the earlier two decades throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving seniors disproportionately burdened with inflation.

There are various existing utility systems accessible to Hamilton County inhabitants, but most have rigid revenue constraints. Most of those plans are not readily available to more mature grown ups who have incomes higher than 175% of poverty stage — indicating seniors who get paid just below $24,000 do not qualify.

Commissioner Alicia Reece claimed they listened to from seniors trying to get accessibility to COVID aid cash, but they weren’t ready to assist due to the fact of stringent federal suggestions.

This new plan will help all those inhabitants in hazard of “falling among the cracks.”

“I’m happy that my colleagues joined me in voting unanimously to make certain seniors aren’t remaining driving,” she explained. “These sorts of systems are so significant to maintain people’s lights on and to keep the h2o running.”

Nearly 22% of Hamilton County’s inhabitants is 60 or older. Much more than 27% of them have some kind of incapacity, and a lot more than 17% have incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty degree, according to the Council on Getting older. 

The agency’s knowledge displays 73% of county citizens 60 or more mature very own their residence.

“We’re hopeful the pandemic is ending, but we know several older grownups will truly feel its effect for some time,” claimed Suzanne Burke, the CEO of Council on Aging. 

The threat of utility shutoff and not being in a position to make essential accessibility to their property threatens the independence of numerous senior citizens, Burke said.

“Everything fees extra than it did two a long time in the past,” she included. “When you live on a restricted spending budget — as do the individuals we’re hoping to provide via this application — it is not tough to consider becoming in a circumstance where you’re picking out in between spending the electric invoice or filling a prescription.” 

The money for the program arrived from Hamilton County’s senior products and services tax levy.

Hamilton County will keep an eye on how the money get applied in order to track the require and establish no matter if they ought to supply more dollars to the system.

All those fascinated in making use of can do so via the Hamilton County Senior Utility Assistance and House Repair System at assist4Seniors.org. They can also connect with 513-743-9000. 

More data about this system and other Hamilton County relief efforts is available at 513Reduction.org.