(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:
(1) "Accessibility modification" means the construction or modification of a principal place of residence to enable or increase independent living for a person with a disability or who is 60 years of age or more.
(2) "Disability" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-1431.01(4).
(3) "Dwelling unit" means any room or group of rooms forming a single unit that is used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, and the preparation or eating of meals that is located within a building that is wholly or partially used or intended to be used for living and sleeping by a human occupant.
(4) "Principal place of residence" means a dwelling unit in the District of Columbia in which an individual lives more than 50% of the calendar year.
(b) There is established a home accessibility modification grant program, the Safe at Home Program, to be administered by the Mayor for the purpose of assisting eligible residents to reduce risks of falls and to help ameliorate mobility issues by providing accessibility modifications to their principle places of residence. The Mayor may issue grants up to $6,000 per residence and the grants shall be exempt from District income taxation.
(c) Accessibility modifications may include:
(1) Furniture risers;
(3) Grab bars;
(4) Shower seats;
(4A) Bathtub cuts;
(5) Chair lifts;
(7) Doors usable by a person in a wheelchair; and
(8) Other modifications to improve accessibility and enhance independent living.
(d) To be eligible for the Safe at Home Program, an applicant shall:
(1) Be a resident of the District of Columbia who is at least 18 years of age;
(2) Provide proof of the applicant's principal place of residence and proof that the applicant owns the principal place of residence, or that the owner of the principal place of residence has given the applicant permission to make an accessibility modification to the property;
(3) Provide proof of a disability; except, that a person 60 years of age or more shall be exempt from this requirement;
(4) Meet household income-eligibility limitations, as prescribed by the Mayor by rule; and
(5) Complete an assessment, performed by a licensed occupational therapist approved by the Department of Aging and Community Living, designed to measure functional ability.
(e) The Mayor shall:
(1) Develop a grant application form specific to the Safe at Home Program that shall require the minimum information and documentation necessary to determine eligibility for the program;
(2) Provide written notification to an applicant of approval or denial of a grant application within 60 days after receipt of a completed application, and if denied, include the reason for the denial and the process for reconsideration; and
(3) Ensure that only fully licensed, certified contractors perform work authorized by the Safe at Home Program.
(f) The Mayor may, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue rules to implement the provisions of this section, including rules establishing:
(1) Household income eligibility;
(2) Guidelines for installation projects consistent with current ADA Accessibility Guidelines (28 C.F.R. Part 36, Subpart D and 36 C.F.R. Part 1191, Appendices B and D) as published in Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, Department of Justice, September 15, 2010;
(3) Standards to ensure that accessibility modifications funded by grants issued pursuant to this section meet the needs of the applicant;
(4) Standards for the assessments required by subsection (d)(5) of this section; and
(5) Standards for licensed occupational therapists to be approved to conduct the assessments required by subsection (d)(5) of this section.
Applicability of D.C. Law 21-168: § 4 of D.C. Law 21-168 provided that the creation of this section by § 2 of D.C. Law 21-168 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.
For temporary (90 days) repeal of applicability provision of D.C. Law 21-168, see § 7143 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-112, Sept. 4, 2019, 66 DCR 11964).