Home Access Legislation Update: Support HomesRenewed Coalition

Published in Home Modifications on October 11, 2021

Home Access Legislation Update: Support HomesRenewed Coalition

The home accessibility industry is hitting a pivotal turning point in 2021. Compacted with the pandemic and more seniors wanting to age in place and overall demographics of the United States, the biggest segment of growth in home accessibility is the senior private pay segment. The number of increasingly older Americans continues to grow. And of these individuals, over 80% say they want to remain in their own home. However, most housing isn’t accessible.

Aging in place has gotten a lot of buzz in the last 18 months due to COVID, but still most people do not know about home safety upgrades that home access contractors provide. Seniors or their family members only look for it when they have had a health incident that requires it, and in many cases, the bare minimum upgrades are completed.

One of the biggest drivers of cost to the healthcare system is falls. According to a 2019 United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, falls and related injuries bear enormous financial implications to individuals, families, and the healthcare system. A fall-related hospital stay costs an average of $30,000. Each year, Americans spend a total of approximately $50 billion in medical costs alone for fall injuries. By 2030, costs are expected to soar beyond $100 billion annually.

We can help reduce the cost of falls by providing ways to make aging in place safer for our seniors. But we need to incentivize seniors to proactively make these safety upgrades. Legislation is needed to incentivize seniors to invest in proactively making their home safe and help afford all the modifications they may need when a health incident requires it.

Our goal is to have legislation introduced that would provide a tax deduction to make these modifications. This would provide awareness of home access upgrades to people of age who are remodeling their homes, infuse the industry with new private pay consumers, while also helping to reduce the risk of falls for seniors.

LAH supports The HomesRenewed Coalition because they provide the best-concerted effort to have legislation introduced and passed. They have met with several senators and congressional representatives, and there is high interest in this issue. We are hopeful that either by the end of this year or sometime next year, there will be another piece of legislation in which a bill of this nature will get serious consideration.

There is proposed legislation out now that has not been introduced because we are waiting on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Score. Once we get the score and if comes in very low or neutral, which it should based on fall reduction, then it can easily be attached to a package as a non-controversial bill and won't require all the lobbying and such that a bill with a cost does. A bill like this that has little to no cost to taxpayers, a senior benefit, and is non-partisan, would be attached to the next package that gets passed. We are close to that place right now but still need support as it will likely take until next year until we have a vehicle for passage.   

Supporting the HomesRenewed Coalition is our industry’s best option for getting this bill passed. Supporting it is paying it forward to future success in the private pay senior market. For more information on the HomesRenewed Coalition and for ways to support their cause, visit www.homesrenewed.org/.


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