Habitat Handyman – affordable home repair for seniors

Habitat Handyman will change the lives of people living in our catchment area.

Through Habitat Handyman, Habitat Halton-Mississauga is able to make sure more families and senior citizens can live in the safety and comfort of a place to call their own. 

Affordable and Accessible Homes

The current trend of housing and retirement costs have created a barrier of entry, leaving some without a comfortable sense of living. It’s tough for families to find affordable housing, but an even greater challenge is finding accessible and affordable seniors housing. One in two senior-led households experience affordability issues, and when a housing market continues to remain out of reach for some, it becomes a real challenge to retire comfortably. There are 27 long-term care homes in Halton and Mississauga, with over 4,100 spaces and thousands on a wait list. Only a handful of spots open in per month, making homes filled to capacity undesirable.

There are many factors that can lead into the decision of a senior staying in their home. Wanting to stay with family, and a lost feeling of self-reliance can have a bigger effect on oneself than a physical move or financial commitments themselves. Poverty rates have even seen an increase after a steady decline of over 30 years. Although a rise in Canadian seniors has been prevalent for several years, the use of retirement and senior residences has been declining. Having high priced facilities ($4,900 average for one bedroom seniors unit in Halton) could leave some staying where they are currently, but having an aged and unsuitable home could lead to accessibility and other issues.

How Habitat is Helping

Habitat for Humanity believes in giving everyone a safe and happy place to live, and there’s a way of achieving this without building houses from the ground up. It isn’t just families that have a need for affordable homes, senior housing in Ontario is just as needed, and we’re about helping as many people as we can. If seniors plan on staying in their houses instead of seeking a retirement home, we need to be sure that they can live comfortably and have what is needed accessible to them at their own desire.

Introducing Habitat for Humanity’s Handyman Program! A service where we offer home improvement services to those in need located in Halton and Mississauga, using the help of a licensed contractor and group of volunteers. The goal of the program is  to improve the quality and grow the amount of accessible, affordable housing for seniors, families, and those who are in need of it most. The program aims to help seniors continue to stay in a home where they can easily access what they need, and stay out of a long-term care home. Some seniors stand to benefit the most from this service because most would be unable to perform the repairs and renovations themselves.

Below is a list of offered services through Habitat Handyman.

  • General Carpentry
  • Cabinet removal and installation
  • Kitchen repair/renovation
  • Bathroom repair/renovation
  • Drywall installation and repairs
  • In/exterior painting
  • Installation of laminate and tile flooring
  • Installation of attic insulation
  • Vinyl siding installation and repair
  • Home exterior pressure washing
  • Deck repair and maintenance (pressure washing, staining and sealing)
  • Fencing installation and repair
  • Gutter cleaning
  • General seasonal home maintenance

There’s no job too small, as we offer home repair and renovation services in dozens of areas to help keep your home in the best shape it can be. From upstairs to downstairs, we provide a handful of different services to fit your needs, and additional services can be included on a case by case basis.

Seniors and Housing Issues

A study in July 2017 released by CMHC shows that 32% of all senior housing in Ontario had an accessible entrance, but more than half of all seniors requiring a wheelchair or mechanical support lack a home with an accessible entrance. Obstacles such as high cost of renovations or a resistance to move can keep seniors in undesirable living conditions. Long Term Care wait times have only increased in recent years, so having an accessible home to live is important when it may take months to be accepted into Long Term Care or a retirement home. When seniors make a move to another home instead of an assisted living facility, they are also more likely to have accessible features in their new home, such as grab bars and other utilities. Mobility disabilities are the most common among seniors, and these tools help make everyday things easier.

When we invest in existing homes and make them better, we’re able to postpone moves and keep people in their communities for a longer period of time because everything is accessible and fitted for their needs. We offer retrofitting, renovations and utility installations, to help keep those in their communities with their friends and family longer. This will help increase the stock of affordable housing for seniors, while helping generate more revenue for our future home building projects.

Our Handyman program is one we’re proud to offer those in our communities, and operates in a similar way to our other programs. Those interested in receiving home renovation or repair services submit an application and we will schedule a time for our crew to evaluate the work. If we’re capable of completing the job, our Handyman will provide examples of written estimates for materials and labour costs (if applicable), and begin working!

Although we charge for these services, we provide low-income pricing to help all of those in our communities who need it most. You can rest assured that your contribution to Habitat goes a long way. The money raised through this program will continue to help us with our goal of providing affordable homes to those who need them most, while providing help to those who are already in a home, and may be unable to cover high costs of renovation and material costs.

To begin the booking process or to find more information, contact the program administrator, Emily Johnson, at ejohnson@habitathm.ca.

Halton Accessibility Repair Program

If you’re still in need of assistance, the Halton Region may be able to help. The Halton Accessibility Repair Program (HARP) helps provide funding to eligible homeowners to improve and/or maintain independent living. HARP applicants may receive up to $5,000 to put towards home modifications, with other loans and grants that may be available.

To  see if you are eligible for HARP, and for more information, visit Halton.ca.