$15,000 Loans For Seniors Home Modifications

January 29, 2020 | 21 Comments

Through the BHC and in conjunction with Age Concern, “families will be able to apply for interest free loans of up to $15,000 to support home modifications to promote their senior loved ones remaining at home as opposed to in rest home care,” Premier David Burt announced.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon [Jan 29], Premier Burt said, “I count it one of the privileges of public service to have the opportunity to meet so many men and women whose lives are a study in commitment, perseverance and love. Bermuda’s senior citizens represent a wealth of wisdom and examples of what is best about our story as a people.

Photo: BHC General Manager Maj. Barrett Dill, Senator Ianthia Simmons-Wade who currently chairs the Ageing Well Committee, Ms. Keeona Belboda, the Manager of Ageing & Disability Services with the Department of Health, Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch, Premier David Burt, Minister of Health Kim Wilson, Deputy Speaker Derrick Burgess, who previously served as the Chair of the Ageing Well Committee, and Dr. Claudette Fleming of Age Concern.

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“In the summer of 2018 I announced a plan to introduce interest-free loans provided by the Government to assist families determined to have seniors ‘age in place’, in the comfort of their own homes.

“I am pleased to be joined today by my colleagues the Ministers of Public Works and Minister of Health who with the Minister of Finance have worked together to bring this proposal to reality.

“I am also joined by the Deputy Speaker, Derrick Burgess, who previously served as the Chair of the Ageing Well Committee and Senator Ianthia Simmons-Wade who currently chairs the Ageing Well Committee.

“I am also pleased to have with us Ms. Keeona Belboda, the Manager of Ageing & Disability Services with the Department of Health, Maj. Barrett Dill the General Manager of the Bermuda Housing Corporation and Dr. Claudette Fleming of Age Concern who will partner with us in this initiative.

“We believe that after a lifetime of hard work to secure their homes, seniors should not have to face the prospect of re-encumbering that asset or even surrendering it in circumstances where some basic modification can see them live out these special years in familiar and comfortable surroundings.

“Through the Bermuda Housing Corporation and in conjunction with Age Concern, families will be able to apply for interest free loans of up to $15,000 to support home modifications to promote their senior loved ones remaining at home as opposed to in rest home care.

“The simple installation of bathroom fixtures, ramps and railings can make living at home more accessible for seniors.

“As indicated when this was first announced, fixtures and fittings for these purposes will be duty-free. $500,000 has been dedicated to this initiative and I know this will be money well spent, in support of the people of Bermuda.

“The hard-working team at the BHC have created an easy application form for completion which will be available on the Bermuda Housing Corporation’s website, www.bhc.bm, and also at the BHC Offices on Church Street.

“These applications will be subject to a basic assessment by Age Concern’s team to verify the proposed modifications and thereafter processed quickly so that work can begin. We will work with families and seniors at the front end to ensure the repayment of the loans is manageable and regular.

“The fulfilment of this pledge speaks to our values as a government. It speaks to our belief that we must listen to our people and that we must ensure that every Bermudian that needs a hand up, gets a hand up.

“For our seniors, we listened to your concerns around pensions, and from listening to you, we took action and insured that your pensions will increase every year.

“We listened to your concerns and the concerns of your families around nursing homes and raised standards for nursing homes and gave the Ministry of Health greater powers to investigate and intervene in those facilities against potential neglect or abuse. For our taxi drivers, many of whom are seniors, we provided a payroll tax cut of 60%.

“This Government is determined to provide the hand-up for Bermudians of all ages…our children have Wi-Fi in every school and a robust STEAM curriculum; our working adults have payroll tax relief and access to higher education through our College Promise; and this interest free loan initiative is further support for our seniors who worked to build a country that remains among the most blessed in the world.”

The loan application is here on BHC’s website.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Politricks says:

    Good initiative. But please Mr. Pemier stop bragging about pension increases as if they are material. My surviving parent’s pensions increase for last year was less than $10 a month whilst simultaneously you jacked up their land tax by around 30% or circa $500 a year.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      How is that possible, when seniors do not pay land tax on their primary residence. Tell the whole truth.

      • Andrew says:

        Long since recinded…wake up!

      • Question says:

        Hilarious, you tell a flat out lie and then tell someone else to ‘tell the whole truth’.
        What is it with you

      • BS says:

        That’s 100% bu##$*t!

      • Politricks says:

        Ms. Furbert, as you stated yourself it is based on primary residence. Like most seniors in Bermuda my parent rents out there home as a means to be able to continue living in the island they have always called home. The paltry Governemnt pensionthey receive of less than $800 or so would barely even cover their healthcare related costs. Instead of calling people liars in your life’s l quest to defend and deflect any and all criticism of your political Party, may I suggest you talk to people affected. For instance there was an article last year in which seniors decried the land tax increase. Here is a quote from that article:

        Seniors were shocked when they got their invoices which were much higher than six months ago. One homeowner said: “We opened up our land tax bill and noticed that it had gone up significantly.

        “When I looked back at the last bill I saw it had gone up $887.50.

        “We are over 65, way over, we do get $900 exemption but the increase has basically wiped out the exemption.”

        She added: “The Government needs to rethink this latest insult to the people of Bermuda.”

        So despite your desire to label me a liar these tax increases affect everybody negatively. But dont worry I see a second consecutive increase is proposed in the upcoming budget. That should help.

      • Moojun says:

        You’re the one telling half truths, Ms. Furbert. Seniors are only exempt on the first $1,566 of land tax. They have to pay on everything above that amount so Politrick’s parents are worse off after the tax increases that your PLP have burdened us with. Just like many, many other Bermudians.

      • Andrea says:

        That’s not entirely accurate. Bermudians aged sixty-five or older (Seniors) used to be entitled to full relief from land tax. However, as a result of a 2009 change, Seniors are only exempt from land tax based on an Annual Rental Value (ARV) of up to $42,000. Anything over this is taxed and the tax rate increased significantly.

    • Concerned Bermudian says:

      Exactly!!!! So many people don’t seem to understand this!!!

  2. Budget, what budget? says:

    This Government is very good at giving away more tax payers money every day but has NO CLUE on how to stimulate or grow the economy to generate more Government revenue to pay for it all. More taxes for taxpayers. 25-11. ZERO PLAN.

  3. Kevin says:

    want the vote …the plp are grasping at any initiative to get a vote …they cant actual support this as they have no money ……useless in getting the economy motivated and useless at managing the low levels of revenue and managing expenses
    THIS GOVERNMENT IS USELESS

  4. Kevin says:

    What the plp will do for a vote….a loan that most seniors cant pay back but guess who will have to ……..just another great idea by this clueless group …but its votes they want…anyone who votes for any of these clowns should be committed.
    where are the jobs Burt
    Where is the increased economic activity Burt
    where is the responsible government expenses Burt
    we are all drowning …no not all if your friends and family you are smiling

  5. Ringmaster says:

    So $500,000 available, with each loan up to $15,000. In Bermuda $15,000 won’t buy much so it means at most 33 people can benefit. Or can they as this is a loan which has to be repaid? Sounds like a vote getting exercise using taxpayers money.

    As to the boast that the children have wi-fi in every school and the rest, they’re just words. Do they? Prove it and then where are the jobs? The only growth is in the Civil Service and that just makes Bermuda’s problems worse.

    It sounds as if an election is coming soon to hide the bleak economic facts.

  6. Jahni says:

    Just more feel good to help them get re-elected

  7. Onion Puke says:

    No ‘certain’ people involved judging by the typically devisive Pee El Pee photo shoot.

  8. what is safest? says:

    I think that this “gesture” misses the point. Home renovations will not be the best answer in every case…or even most cases. Keeping elderly in a house that has to have band-aid fits like grab bars etc, applied does not solve their problems if they need daily supervision, which they can’t afford or be approved for with future care coverage. In reality, they need NURSING HOME CARE which is the safest option in many cases. The elderly in Bermuda, the generation that fed and clothed our current Government, deserve MORE. Sadly, the political missteps in the last 10-20 years have resulted in the loss/disappearance/mismanagement of the money that should be available for caring for the elderly now.
    Our Government should help fix up existing nursing homes or covering some part of nursing home care costs instead.

  9. Infidelguy says:

    Does this government do anything without seizing on the opportunity to score political points? Using seniors like this is pathetic!!!

  10. ROGER LAMBERT says:

    Can a Landlord/Lady sign a contract with the BHC to only let their place to a Senior & could the Owner get the $15K and do the Renovations needed?

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