A new resident at one of our nine properties recently received a grant through the Rental Unit Accessibility Modification Program (RUAM) which enabled her entire tub/shower to be replaced with a walk-in shower accommodating her needs. Pat Wise is 87 and has a disability that makes it very difficult for her to step into a tub shower. Pat said, “I just couldn’t get into that tub by myself.”
Regina, property manager at Timberlake Place Apartments, learned about Pat’s needs and helped her get the application process going. Once Pat started down the path of getting a modification to her bathroom tub/shower, she didn’t look back. The process took a little time, but with help from Piedmont Housing Alliance to process the application and AHIP to actually make the modification, Pat says nothing beats being able to take a shower first thing in the morning on her own without waiting for a family member to come help her after work hours.
Piedmont Housing Alliance is now serving as an agent on behalf of Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) to implement RUAM, for people with disabilities, and Granting Freedom, for veterans with disabilities, in our service area which includes the city of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa, and Nelson. VHDA’s RUAM Grant Program makes funding available to assist with modifications to rental units to make them accessible for a specific tenant. The modifications made to the rental unit must relate to the tenant’s ability to function on a daily basis. These funds are available to persons earning 80% or less of the area median income, based on HUD Guidelines (for 2018, that is maximum $47,800 for one person). Other typical modifications include, but are not limited to:
- Installation of ramps and chairlift
- Widening of doorways and sidewalks
- Remote entry devices
- Alterations to bathrooms (tub cuts, grab bars, toilets, faucets, etc.) and kitchens
Housing Counselor, Shelley Murphy, says we have a few other applications in process, and the program funds are administered on a first-come, first-served basis up to maximum $6,000. If you have a disability and could use a modification to your rental home, call us to see if you may qualify.
The mission of Piedmont Housing Alliance is to create affordable housing opportunities and foster community through education, lending, and equitable development. We look forward to helping improve the quality of life for others in our community through the RUAM and Granting Freedom programs.