Hempstead Town Helps Make Homes Accessible for Those with Special Needs

Hempstead Town has once again proven its dedication to residents with special needs by providing a grant program for the physically challenged.

“One of the moral tests of a government lies in how it treats its citizens with special needs,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “We are here to affirmatively state that our town is strongly committed to people with special needs and announce a program to help people renovate their homes to meet their unique design requirements.”

Supervisor Murray announced the program at the Roosevelt home of the Johnson family. The family’s 7-year-old son has cerebral palsy and had to be physically lifted up the steps to get into his home each day. As he has been growing, this has become increasingly difficult for the family. The Johnsons are taking advantage of the program offered by the Town’s Department of Planning and Economic Development to install a lift into the home and to make their bathroom accessible for their son.

The Home Improvement Program for the Physically Challenged is designed to assist homeowners who have a member of their household who has a permanent disability and requires handicapped accessibility. Through this grant, which comes through a Federal Community Development Block Grant, eligible residents can receive up to $20,000 to make their homes accessible. This grant does not have to be paid back.

“This program can make all the difference for a family such as the Johnsons,” noted Murray. “It can also give the person with the disability a sense of independence that they did not previously have.”

The Town’s Department of Planning and Economic Development determine eligibility, assists applicants with the required paperwork and inspects the property and makes suggestions for improvements that might be made. In addition, they give a complete construction write-up and estimate, assist in obtaining bids from approved contractors, inspect the work while in progress and certify that the work has been completed properly before issuing final payment to the contractor.

“Hempstead Town is a great place to live, and we want to ensure that it remains a ‘great and accessible’ place for all our residents,” concluded Murray.

For more information and to learn eligibility requirements, Hempstead Town residents can call the Department of Planning and Economic Development at 516-538-7100.