Charlie Crist Wants Tax Incentives for Seniors, Disabled to Modify Their Home

Last week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., introduced a bill “that provides tax incentives for home modifications so seniors and those with disabilities can more easily and safely continue living in their own homes.”

Crist brought out the “Home Modification for Accessibility Act” with U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-NY, as a co-sponsor.

“Under this legislation, homeowners will be able to take proactive measures to modify and update their homes, allowing them to safely and comfortably age in place, and creating new job opportunities for skilled laborers and contractors,” Crist‘s office noted.

“Given the option, the vast majority of seniors and people with disabilities want to stay in their own home for as long as possible. It’s more comfortable, less costly, and improves quality of life,” said Crist. “Unfortunately, many homes lack accessibility upgrades to make this a reality for seniors on fixed incomes and people with disabilities. That’s why I introduced the Home Modification for Accessibility Act – to provide tax incentives so that more Floridians have the option to live and age safely in their own home. It’s the right thing to do!”

“We have a storm coming, with the number of disabled elders expected to double in the coming years. Fewer family caregivers are available for these aging Americans and the market for long-term care insurance is not currently sufficient to address these demographic challenges,” said Suozzi. “We must do all we can to ensure New Yorkers have the option to live and age safely in the comfort of their own home.”

The bill has the support of the HomesRenewed Coalition and Crist’s office offered some of the details on it.

“The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that roughly 90 percent of people ages 65+ would prefer to age in their homes rather than moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home. When compared, aging at home is cheaper and more cost effective than having to live in a nursing home where room costs can average anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 a month,” Crist’s office noted. “The Home Modification for Accessibility Act empowers Americans to make decisions about where and how they live by offsetting the costs associated with making home modifications through a penalty free early retirement withdrawal and lifetime tax deduction of up to $30,000. This will reduce injuries and subsequent medical costs associated with falls, as well as drive development and investment in the market and create new job opportunities for skilled laborers and contractors.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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