- About ODC
- Agency ADA Coordinators
Architectural Modifications and Housing Repair
With an understanding of universal design, an individual will be in a position to decide what home modifications they will need to make their home more accessible. These modifications are typically called architectural modifications. The most common architectural modification is a simple ramp to give the owner/occupant entry and exit access to the residence. Another modification is a roll-in shower with grab bars and fold-down shower chair to permit a person with mobility impairments easy access to the shower. A room addition would be an even more complex architectural modification with special door handles, lower and more frequent electrical outlets, and/or non-skid flooring surfaces.
Some programs in Oklahoma, not previously listed in Chapter 3, that can assist with financing architectural modifications are:
Architectural Modifications for Renters
If a person with a disability rents their home or apartment, further consideration is necessary. They may not want to consider a loan to modify rental property. If a program like one of the Oklahoma Medicaid Waivers will pay for authorized architectural modifications, it will be necessary to receive consent from the owner before any modifications can be made.
If a person with disabilities lives in an apartment complex, they may inform the apartment manager of what their needs are. Perhaps they need a wider entryway to accommodate a wheelchair or they need a ramp to be able to exit the apartment. If the apartment manager does not feel it is possible to pay for necessary changes, the tenant may suggest that if the manager paid for part of it that the tenant would be willing to remove the modification when they vacate the apartment. Negotiate with the apartment complex on how the needs of the person with disabilities can be accommodated. The apartment complex may have accessible units
If an apartment complex is involved and a tenant needs architectural modifications, it is always good to find out if any federal monies went into construction of the apartments. Rural Housing of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finances many apartments across Oklahoma. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also contributes funding to many housing projects. If a housing project was built with public funds, there should be a sign on the premises. If a tenant has doubts, they may ask the management. If government funds were used in construction, a tenant seeking architectural modifications may use that government agency as a mediator in their attempts to get architectural modifications paid for.
Home repairs are different from architectural modifications. Home repairs do not involve making the home accessible to the person with disabilities. An example of home repairs would be weatherization, roofing, or repair of heating/air conditioning units. Home repairs become a problem in owner-occupied housing rather than in rentals because the owner cannot afford to make the repairs. Rental repairs are typically handled by the landlord.
Programs For Home Repairs
You may contact your Local Community Action agencies for home repairs. Typically the local agency would use a contractor to do the work after they have approved the client application. An inspection should be done of the work and the resident will be asked to sign a form. The resident should be satisfied before signing.
Customer satisfaction is involved in any program that pays for housing repairs. It is the responsibility of the resident to know this in advance to protect themselves. Some of the same programs paying for architectural modifications can be used for home repairs. Some agencies and programs will pay for the home repairs themselves, and some will offer you a low-interest loan. If you need home repairs, check some of the following:
Local Community Action agencies