Eve Salazar had been confined to the first floor living room of her Chicago home for four years after she fell ill and lost her mobility. Unable to reach the main bathroom on the second floor in her wheelchair, she waited for her son or grandson to help her with bathing. Sometimes, she would “bump” herself up and down the stairs – a serious safety concern for both her and her family. However, with help from the United Cerebral Palsy Seguin of Greater Chicago, Eve was approved for a Home Accessibility Program grant to install a chair lift that has made a major difference in her quality of life. The lift resolved serious safety issues and restored the independence she deserves, allowing her to travel safely through her entire house without needing help from family or caregivers.
The number of Illinois homeowners over the age of 60 increased by 17 percent since 2010, and while they may have the financial means to stay in their homes, many low-income seniors or persons with disabilities are forced to relocate due to accessibility concerns. This is why IHDA partners with local governments and non-profit agencies across the state to offer grants for interior chair lifts, platform lifts, exterior ramps, bathroom modifications and more so people never feel trapped or confined in their own homes. With the help of 15 local program administrators, the Home Accessibility Program has the potential to improve nearly 200 single-family properties across 35 counties, preventing the premature relocation or unnecessary institutionalization of seniors and persons with disabilities by helping them remain comfortable and safe in their homes.