Senate and House Democrats Introduce Legislation to Improve Home Accessibility

Bills will make it easier for seniors, disabled to stay in their homes
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

LANSING – Senator Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield) and Representative Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 395 and House Bill 4719, which would provide a tax incentive for individuals who purchase a new residence or retrofit an existing residence that meets accessibility standards. This will help seniors and individuals with a disability stay in their homes while reducing the financial burden of such improvements.

“These modifications are necessary for many individuals to continue to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as they are safely able to do so. Home, family and community are, to many, the roots of life and well-being and that shouldn’t be denied to anyone,” said Senator Vincent Gregory. “This legislation would give those who want to live independently the ability to do so.”

SB 395 and HB 4719 would provide financial relief for people who modify their homes to maintain their independence. The tax credits would be available for up to $5,000 for the purchase or construction of a new accessible residence and up to 50 percent for the cost of retrofitting existing units, up to $5,000.

“It is critically important to help our aging population and those with mobility impairments to comfortably stay in their homes,” said Representative Jeremy Moss. “In inner-ring suburbs like Southfield and in communities throughout the state, many existing homes weren’t built to accommodate an aging population or those with physical limitations.”

The proposed legislation would improve accessibility and universal visitability in Michigan’s residential units and allow people of all ages and abilities to live independently in their homes and communities. The term “visitability” refers to single-family or owner-occupied housing designed in such a way that it can be lived in or visited by people who have trouble with steps or who use wheelchairs or walkers.

The bills are currently awaiting committee consideration in both chambers.