New Home Adaptions for Independence Program Starting April 1, 2019

BC Housing has revised its Home Adaptions for Independence (HAFI) Program. Below is an overview. Please refer to the main BC Housing HAFI website for the most up-to-date information.BC Housing HAFI

The good news is that the program has been funded for 2019! You can get a grant to pay up to 100% of your bathroom (and home) renovation to make it accessible (if medically needed) and safe for seniors and people with disabilities.

Main changes:

  • The funding limits have dropped from $20K to $15K 100% grant Plus an additional 50-50 cost share of up to $2500 on $5000. This brings the total possible grant to $17500, with $2500 in homeowner/landlord participation.
  • BC Housing has clarified and streamlined the paperwork and process for the application. Some changes involve adding proof of citizenship or immigration status paperwork, They have also clarified what paperwork is needed for people living in stratas, cooperative housing and mobile home parks.
  • Applications MUST be complete before sending in paperwork. Missing paperwork has a time limit of 90 days to be provided or you must start the process again.
  • The new application has eliminated the need for multiple contractor quotes/estimates. Only one quote is now needed for each type of work to be done. Labour is still not covered if you are doing the work yourself.

Homeowners Application
Landlord Application

  • You can only get covered ONCE in a lifetime for HAFI renovations made after April 1, 2019. The funding is a lifetime maximum of $17500. That means that if you move, you will not qualify for a new grant. We are not sure how that will affect renters or homeowners that are forced to move or couples that apply under one person and later need renovations for the other. BC Housing will need to clarify these areas in years to follow.
  • If you have the Disability Tax credit and you are over the regular income limit, there may be allowances that will still allow you to qualify for the program. Please contact BC Housing directly
  • BC Housing has further restricted adaptions to be medically necessary and they require repurposing of bathroom fixtures to be done whenever possible (i.e. keep existing countertop and sink, but replace the faucet only). They have specifically excluded hydrotherapy jets, countertops, lighting, fans, sinks, and luxury materials.
  • Payment reimbursement has been clarified. Before, you could get reimbursement in stages for larger contracts, so the cash flow could be better managed by the contractor and the homeowner. Now, 100% of the work must be completed once your application is approved and the work must be fully paid for by the homeowner BEFORE you can request reimbursement.  That means that you must be prepared to take out a loan or cash in investments to pay your contractor and then wait up to 2-3 months after the work is completed for reimbursement. If you are unable to afford this, then you need to find a contactor that is willing to finance some of the project.

What is essentially the same:

  • Applicants must meet eligibility guidelines, which include:
    • Household income limits (everyone who is deemed part of the household must meet the income guidelines collectively). That means if your adult child lives with you his or her income is added to yours to see if you qualify. Exceptions are if you are deemed not in the same household (i.e. there is a separate suite or a third party renter). Income bracket is not based on the number of bedrooms your actually have, but what your household would typically use (i.e. a couple is one bedroom, but a mother and daughter are 2 bedrooms).
    • Household assets must be less than $100K not including RRSPs and the principal residence and car.  GICs count as part of household assets.
    • The person needing the renovations must live in the home being renovated as their principal residence.
    • The BC Assessment value must be below the Home Value Limits table for your geographic area.
    • The Housing Income Limits Table and Home Value Limits tables on the BC Housing website is still the 2018 guidelines, but it is expected that this will soon be updated to 2019 amounts.
  • Replacement of bathtubs with accessible showers, or walk in tubs is still covered, as is storage accessibility, ramps, grab bars, higher toilets, etc.
  • The adaptions must be medically necessary, but you do not need to provide a doctors note or referral initially, but BC Housing may ask you for one after they review your application.
  • If you want other work or upgrades to materials (i.e. adding a new mirror or custom colours, or hydrotherapy jets)  done that does not qualify, you can still do it, but you will need to pay for it privately.
  • You cannot start work until you have received approval. Work done before approval will not be eligible for reimbursement.

BC Housing HAFI Frequently Asked Questions Handout. 

 

2017 Holiday Hours

The Aquassure team is taking a long winter’s nap! We look forward to serving you in 2018, and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

CLOSED: December 25th to 29th
CLOSED: January 1st, 2018
REOPEN: January 2nd, 2018 (regular business hours)

If there is an emergency please call our main line, and let our answering service know. They will contact us and we will get back to you asap!

Holiday Closure 2016

This has been a wonderful year for us at Aquassure Accessible Baths, and we want to thank our clients, dealers, and partners in business for making 2016 a hit. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2017! Seasons Greetings and our best to you this time of year, and a very Happy New Year!

The staff at Aquassure are going into semi-hibernation starting December 23rd through January 2nd, reopening for regular business hours on January 3rd.

We have an answering service that forwards messages to us, and we will be checking our e-mail regularly. If you have any inquiries or problems, please rest assured, we will still be able to serve you.

Aquassure Accessible Baths Co-Founders Venture into the Dragons’ Den

Accessibility Products Leaders to Appear on Popular Reality Television Show to Pitch the Active Daily Living Spa Slide-in Tub

dragonsdenKELOWNA – Aquassure Accessible Baths, a leading designer of accessible bath products for seniors and disabled persons, announced today that its founders, Matthew Longman and Shari McDowell, will appear on the hit reality television show Dragons’ Den.” The show gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their business to five business moguls with the capital and expertise to grow startups into successful enterprises.

Longman and McDowell will pitch their company and their ADL Spa Slide-in Tub. The show will air on February 10 at 8:00 p.m. on CBC Television and online at cbc.ca/dragonsden.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share our product with the show’s panel of experts and nearly one million Canadian viewers,” said Longman, CEO, and Certified Aging in Place Specialist, with over 20 years of healthcare industry experience. “The ageing population has created a significant need for innovative lifestyle products that give individuals greater control over their independence and quality of life. We hope to drive awareness of this growing need, and the solutions that we’ve developed.”

Since the launch of Aquassure in 2007, Longman has been a pioneer in the development of accessibility products, designing and enhancing the slide-in bathtub for wheelchair and lift accessibility. The ADL Spa Slide-in Tub is currently the company’s signature product, and features the comfort of laying back and soaking in traditional tub that is elevated, more safety features than a walk-in tub and a designer aesthetic. The company also offers a full line of barrier-free, roll-in showers, walk-in tubs, and bath and safety accessories.

In 2011, Aquassure licensed production of the ADL Spa Slide-in Tub to Best Bath Systems of Boise, Idaho. The company is currently in the process of licensing its sliding door technology and the Aquassure slide-in bathtub to a second manufacturer in the U.S.

“We’re poised for tremendous growth,” said Shari McDowell, chief financial officer. “Our goal is to become the North American leader in universal-design bathtub and shower products that fit every individual and family’s unique situation, with contemporary styling.”

The Aquassure Accessible Baths showroom is located at 1048 Richter Street in Kelowna, British Columbia. For more information about the company, visit www.aquassure.com.

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Media Contact:

Matthew Longman
Shari McDowell
Aquassure Accessible Baths
866-404-8827
info@aquassure.com

Photos available by request.

Choosing a Walk-in Tub Handout

Need help trying to choose the right accessible bathroom equipment?

This handout will help!

Buying an Accessible Bathtub is a major decision. It involves a substantial amount of money, and the inconvenience of a bathroom renovation. It is important to fully research the options before you make a decision.

There are four main areas to look at: product choices, the bather, installation and feature/benefit considerations.

  • Part 1 Accessible product choices
  • Part 2 Bather considerations
  • Part 3 Installation considerations
  • Part 4 Feature and Benefit considerations

Choosing a Walk-in Tub Downloadable PDF Handout

New Affordable High Flow Fixtures from Huntington Brass

We are now offering all of our tubs with a new ¾” high flow valve for faster fill times. This valve is manufactured by Huntington Brass which used to be in Huntington Beach, CA but now headquartered in Cypress, CA. This valve in Chrome has a list price of $942.50 CD which is $52 less than our Moen valve but offers faster fill times and a lever handle diverter instead of the pull rod on the Moen which makes it easier to divert the water from the tub spout to the hand shower for those with arthritis. When you combine this valve with our newly redesigned Escape Plus which comes standard with a 2″ drain you can offer your customers one of the fastest filling and fastest draining tubs on the market!

At 15 gallons per minute – the Escape Plus walk in bathtub will fill in 6 minutes.

huntington brass fixtures

Available for the Escape, Escape Plus and Big E walk-in bathtubs. Not available for the Liberty bathtub.

 

 

Seniors and People with Disabilities – Are you Prepared for a Disaster?

epwt-01-engIn my volunteer life, I am a member of the local ESS (Emergency Support Services) and CDART (Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team). I help with disaster response – I help evacuate and take care of people and animals who are affected by disasters like a forest fire, flood, earthquake, ice storm, chemical spill, explosion, or apartment fire. Continue reading

Counting Down to the Dragons Den

Early this morning Aquassure Accessible Baths’ Matthew Longman, CEO and Shari McDowell, CFO jumped onto a flight out of Kelowna heading for Toronto. They will be arriving early in preparation for their pitch day on CBC’s prime time television show Dragons’ Den. It was just March when the small Okanagan business got the phone call that changed everything. After a successful audition, they had been invited to present their accessible slide-in bathtub, the ADL Spa, to the dragons. Continue reading