LANSING — State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) introduced House Bill 6035 today to create an income tax credit for home renovations to improve accessibility and safety for senior citizens and persons living with disabilities.

“Seniors and people with disabilities deserve the freedom to live comfortably in their own homes,” Camilleri said. “In addition to helping these folks with the burden of high prescription drug costs, it is critical that we do all we can to help them afford the home renovations they need to stay safely and securely at home. This tax credit would be a common-sense investment to improve the quality of life for those we love, and a fitting way to recognize Older Michiganians Day today.”

Retrofitting homes to accommodate mobility and other accessibility concerns can be extremely costly. According to a study conducted by MetLife, it can cost more than $250 to install grab bars, up to $1,200 to widen a doorway to accommodate a wheelchair and up to $12,000 for a stair lift. HB 6035 would allow any person older than 60 years, a person with a disability, or a person housing a senior or person with a disability to qualify for a tax credit on up to 50 percent of the cost of qualifying home renovations, up to $5,000. If passed, Michigan would join six other states that have implemented a similar tax credit.

“Most seniors and people with disabilities would choose to live where they are rather than moving to assisted living facilities, but in order to do so it is crucial that they are able to afford the renovations necessary to adapt their homes,” Camilleri said. “Not only would this tax credit go a long way in helping people afford to live independently, but it would also save Michigan taxpayers money on Medicaid costs associated with care at assisted living facilities. This tax credit is a win for people with disabilities, our valued senior citizens and Michigan as a whole.”