Upgrade Your Home for Aging in Place or Enhanced Accessibility

Make the changes you need to age in place in your home – or make your home safer and more accessible for a family member – with the Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP).

There are no monthly payments, no interest, and no credit checks – and it has generous income guidelines, making this one of the most accessible funding sources offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP)

HMLP is a state funded program that helps Massachusetts residents live more independently at home. It has very broad income eligibility requirements, making the program accessible to most applicants.

HMLP provides 0% interest loans between $1,000 and $50,000 to homeowners and small landlords for modifications to the primary, permanent residence of elders, individuals with disabilities, and families of children with disabilities. There are no monthly payments – loans are paid back if the property is sold or transferred.

Loan funds may be used for accessibility improvements like ramps and lifts, accessible bathrooms, accessory dwelling units, sensory or therapy rooms, kitchen adaptations and more. HMLP loans allow homeowners in Massachusetts to stay in their home and must relate to a person in the household’s daily function.

This is not a general home repair or home improvement program.

Wondering what you can fund with a HMLP loan?

Barbara and Dan put a stairlift and accessible bathroom in their basement. Roberto, who cares for his aging parents in his home, installed an accessible shower and safer bathroom for them. See their stories below. General renovations such as painting, roof repairs, windows, etc., are not eligible for HMLP funding.

What are some examples of HMLP projects?

  • Ramp and lift installations
  • Kitchen and bathroom modifications
  • Hard wired alarm systems
  • Safety features
  • Therapy rooms

Can HMLP help if I have a manufactured or mobile home?

Yes! HMLP also lends from $1,000 to $30,000 secured by a promissory note and security agreement to individuals who own manufactured or mobile homes.

Click here to take a short yes/no questionnaire and find out if you qualify. Income limits and other eligibility requirements must be met.

What are the loan terms?

HMLP loans are 0% interest and are only repaid when the property is transferred or sold. The program is funded through a state-bond and the loan is secured by a mortgage to guarantee repayment.

Our service area

If your property is in Agawam, Amherst, Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, Springfield, West Springfield, South Hadley, or Westfield contact us at 413-233-1615 or email homelending@wayfinders.org to learn more about this generous state program. Don’t see your town? If you live in Hampshire or Hampden County, visit the Valley CDC HMLP page – they likely cover your town.

The safe and accessible home you need is just a call or email away! Thinking of applying? Click here to watch the HMLP application tips video.

How to Apply
  1. Contact Way Finders
  2. Complete the HMLP Application. To download the application in Spanish, click here.
  3. Identify a qualified general contractor and complete the Bid.
  4. Complete loan documents.
  5. Begin construction.
Questions? Contact us by Email or Phone

Email: homelending@wayfinders.org
Phone: 413-233-1615

Modification Success Stories

One less stressor for caregiver Roberto Camacho

By late September 2017, Roberto Camacho breathed a sigh of relief. Earlier that month, he had successfully helped his elderly parents relocate from their hometown of Yauco, Puerto Rico, to the one-bedroom home he was renting in Springfield, Massachusetts. Roberto had made this same move on his own several years prior, to take a job with the Gándara Center.

Less than two weeks after they arrived, Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Roberto believes the move saved his parents’ lives. Help was especially slow to reach Yauco. And his parents, Tony and Magda, lived alone and have chronic health challenges.

It was a phone call from Tony that spun their relocation into motion. “My father told me he didn’t want to drive anymore,” Roberto recalls. “After grocery shopping with my mother, he had a blackout and didn’t know where he was. They were lost for three hours, driving in his hometown.”

His father, who has type two diabetes and age-related memory loss, had been caring for Magda, who has depression and dementia.

“Something in my heart said, well, I have no choice,” Roberto says, of his decision to become his parents’ caregiver—a choice that meant resigning his job as a care manager for Commonwealth Care Alliance. “My parents left everything; they just came with a couple of bundles. And two dogs.”

The trio moved again in November 2017, when Roberto purchased a larger home in Springfield in what they believed to be a quiet neighborhood. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

“The fire trucks took our street as a shortcut,” Roberto says. “They passed by three, four, five times a day with sirens very high. My mother got very anxious every time she heard the sirens. So I was forced to sell.”

Roberto feels lucky that he was able to buy a home in the summer of 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, in a truly quiet spot. But the 1931 one-floor, one-bathroom home in Springfield had a drawback that soon became a worrisome safety issue: an old antique tub with high sides.

“My parents were having difficulty getting in and out of the tub, my father was close to falling several times,” says Roberto. “I realized I needed to get rid of that tub, but I was broke!”

With his experience as a care manager, Roberto was familiar with local resources in the community. He began looking for a program that would cover the costs—nearly $25,000—to make the bathroom accessible.

“And I couldn’t find those free services! They don’t exist anymore. I was happy to find a different resource opportunity with Way Finders,” Roberto says, of the Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP).

Roberto had connected with Way Finders Homeownership Advisor Amneris Moreno Pagan, who explained how the HMLP works: Funded by the state, the program aims to help seniors and individuals with disabilities to live more independently and comfortably at home. It provides financing—a 0% interest, deferred payment loan up to $50,000—to homeowners or landlords so they can adapt or modify a home for increased safety and accessibility, such as in the kitchen or bathroom.

General home repairs are not eligible; the modification needs to directly relate to a person’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis, as documented by a professional.

Those who receive funding are not required to make monthly payments. Payment of the HMLP loan is required only when the property is sold or the property title is transferred to someone else or to a Trust (or if any condition of the loan agreement is not met).

“I analyzed the situation, and it was perfect for me,” Roberto says. “I said, ‘Well, let’s do it.’”

A few months after deciding to go for it, Roberto secured the loan and lined up a contractor. Then within three weeks, the contractors replaced the tub with an open shower and closed off a low window. They also installed grab bars, a higher toilet, and a handheld showerhead. And for greater ease of access, the narrow doorways to the bathroom and his parents’ bedroom were both enlarged.

“Thanks to Way Finders, my parents can enjoy a fully accessible bathroom,” says Roberto. “They feel more secure and confident. The safer environment provides them and me with peace of mind. God bless you!”

“I am happy,” says Tony, of the impact the changes brought to his daily life.

Roberto praises Amneris for her help. “She was very efficient and guided me through the whole process with a high level of professionalism. Every time I needed to speak to her, she answered. She replied to my emails and texts within minutes.”

Roberto is eager to return to the workforce but, until then, is glad to be able to care for his parents in the comfort of his home—with less worries for their safety.

Barbara & Dan - from impasse to solution

Barbara and Dan moved to their home in Amherst in 2007 with an eye toward the future, as they hope to reside in it for as long as they can. But in recent years, Dan, who has a heart condition, ran into challenges.

“I’m having some problems with mobility,” says Dan, a freelance writer who uses their large basement every day. “I have a lot of communications with people and so forth. But I was losing a lot of time, just moving around and getting tired, you know, all that kind of stuff.”

The couple wanted to install an accessible bathroom in the basement and a stairlift between the first floor and basement. But the price tag kept these dreams out of reach.

“We thought about it and thought about it, and tried to squeeze some money together, but we had an impasse,” says Dan, of their financial situation. “We don’t have a lot of income. Whenever you go for a loan they say, ‘What’s your income?’ Hey, I’m 80 years old! We live off savings. You dip into it too much, you think, what’s going to happen when there’s no savings to draw on?”

The couple read about the Way Finders Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) through the Amherst senior bulletin, then met a woman at the senior center who had used the program, to rave reviews. They soon connected with Way Finders Homeownership & Financial Education Manager Araceli Rivera. As they learned more, the program seemed almost too good to be true.

“We kept going back and saying, ‘Wait, maybe we need to reread this. Could this possibly be what we think it is?’ And it was!” says Barbara. Today, they have their own glowing story to recount.

“It’s like a godsend,” says Barbara, of the modifications they made. “It was exactly what we needed to improve Dan’s quality of life. He doesn’t have to put a half hour aside to get a glass of water.”

“Having a bathroom downstairs that is big and suitable means I can take showers,” says Dan. “And going up and down in the chair is just a terrific relief from having to agonize your way up and down.”

Funded by the state, the Home Modification Loan Program aims to help seniors and individuals with disabilities to live more independently, safely, and comfortably at home. It provides financing—a 0% interest, deferred payment loan up to $50,000—to homeowners or landlords so they can adapt or modify a home for increased accessibility, such as in the kitchen or bathroom. Other eligible projects include ramps, stairlifts, fencing, sensory spaces, and hardwired alarm systems.

General home repairs are not eligible; the modification needs to directly relate to a person’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis, as documented by a professional.

Those who receive funding are not required to make monthly payments. Payment of the HMLP loan is required only when the property is sold or the property title is transferred to someone else or to a Trust (or if any condition of the loan agreement is not met).

The key to helping Barbara and Dan navigate the steps that precede construction (complete an HMLP application, identify a qualified general contractor, complete loan documents)? Araceli Rivera.

“I am not exaggerating anything that I’m about to say,” Barbara says, of working with Araceli. “I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive person, who was very clear with instructions. She was always there. If I left a message, I got the call back right away. She must have bottomless patience.”

“Superlative!” Dan chimes in. “I think it’s an example of a government program which is a well-conceived, well-executed, and has good results, both for us and for the government.”

“I encourage anyone who might be eligible to apply and not hesitate,” says Barbara. “It’s a wonderful program.”