When planning a successful renovation, your budget greatly impacts what you can achieve. However, while you may have enough money saved for your inspired idea, sometimes damaged or ageing infrastructure that is hidden beneath the floorboards or behind drywall can change the way you approach your upgrades.
If you are looking to find ways to fix what needs repairing while still having enough money to do the upgrades you want, you can look into renovation rebates to help cover or offset costs.
The Alberta and Canadian governments offer rebates and grants that can expand your budget. It is worth the time and effort to apply for rebates if you are eligible. Thousands of dollars in grants go uncollected each year, ensure benefit from these rebates and grants if you can.
Understanding eligibility, property qualification, and any upfront expenses outside of a rebate can be confusing. This article will help you navigate the conditions of three of the most popular rebate programs, so you understand your obligations when accessing them.
It takes a bit of work but accessing renovation rebates to save you money is always worth the effort.
We’ve compiled a list of grants and renovation rebates that will save you money, help extend your budget, plus let you know what you need to watch out for. Let’s get started:
1. Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP)
SHARP is a two-part rebate program. It offers qualifying seniors low-interest home equity loans that can cover a range of home adaptations and renovations to help seniors stay in their homes longer, or it assists senior homeowners with low income who do not qualify for a SHARP loan who may be eligible for a SHARP grant.
The purpose of SHARP is to help seniors remain in their homes, improve the safety of living there or adapt and modify the accessibility and mobility of their homes.
Income eligibility for a SHARP loan
- SHARP provides a maximum loan of up to $40,000 to Alberta seniors and senior couples with a total annual income of $75,000 or less and a minimum of 25% home equity in your primary residence where the work is to be completed.
- SHARP will register a caveat against your land title certificate to secure the loan you receive.
Income eligibility for SHARP grant
- single senior with a total annual income of $29,285 or less
- senior couple with a total combined annual income of $47,545 or less
- be 65 years of age or older – only one spouse or partner needs to be at least 65 – and listed as a registered owner of residential property in a Land Titles Office
- be a Canadian citizen, or have been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence
- be an Alberta resident, having lived in the province for at least three months
Considered home repairs for a SHARP grant
- The maximum assistance available per household is $5,000 in a benefit year and $15,000 in a lifetime.
- The cost of the home repair must be $500 or more. Multiple home repairs can be combined toward the $500 minimum.
- Only basic and essential repairs may be funded. Renovations or upgrades are not considered. To learn more about applying and what areas of your home are eligible, visit the Seniors Home Adaptation Repair Program for more information.
2. Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP)
Residential Access Modification Program, or its fitting acronym RAMP, provides grants to assist low-income Alberta homeowners who face mobility challenges to modify their homes so that they can enter and access their homes easily.
Those eligible for RAMP can receive up to $7,500 per year and up to $15,000 within a 10-year benefit period. Regardless of your age, all wheelchair users who meet program criteria are eligible.
There are many specifications for this grant application, including income guidelines, the specifications of the home renovations and priority applicants. Therefore, it is recommended that if you believe you are eligible and are interested in applying, you research thoroughly at RAMP.
Income eligibility for a RAMP grant
The income threshold varies because different factors are taken into consideration. The income ranges from a single adult with no children (total income of $36,900) to a couple with five children (total income of $94,000).
Eligible property modifications:
- enable you to enter and move within your own living space
- be permanent – RAMP will review requests for temporary modifications on a case-by-case basis
- be made to properties in Alberta
- be completed within 90 days of approval, unless authorized by RAMP To learn more about applying and what areas of your home are eligible, visit RAMP for more information.
3. The Greener Homes Grant
In the spring of 2021, the Canadian Government announced the Canada Greener Homes Grant to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient. Up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 are available to help homeowners make energy-efficient retrofits to their homes. The grant also includes EnerGuide evaluations before and after the retrofits and expert advice to homeowners so they can plan their projects better.
One thing that is important to remember is that this program is for reimbursement, meaning you must pay your contractor first and submit your expenses for eligibility after.
- Eligible homeowners in Canada, regardless of where they live, can participate in the initiative
- Only one homeowner per home can register
- You must provide proof of ownership with your property tax bill number (find this number on your municipal property documents)
- You must demonstrate the property is your primary residence through either a driver’s licence or Government-issued ID (with address)
Requirements for the initiative
- Complete a pre-and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation.
- Complete at least one retrofit that is both eligible and recommended by your energy advisor in their report. Only homeowners who conduct at least one retrofit will be reimbursed.
- Provide and keep copies of all your documents until March 31, 2028.
- All products must be purchased in Canada. Online purchases are only eligible if they are ordered from an online distributor located in Canada.
· Home insulation
· Windows and doors
· Space and water heating
· Renewable energy
· Resiliency measures
This year (2021), an interest-free loan program will provide homeowners with up to $40,000 to help complete deep home retrofits. This loan program will help make the Canada Greener Homes Grant accessible to more homeowners. To learn more about applying and what areas of your home are eligible, visit Canada Greener Homes Grant.