64.106: Specially Adapted Housing for Disabled Veterans

Popular Name: Paraplegic Housing

Objectives: To assist certain severely disabled veterans in acquiring suitable housing units, with special fixtures and facilities made necessary by the nature of the veterans' disabilities.



Applicant Eligibility: For an SAH grant, veterans with permanent, total and compensable disabilities based on service after April 20, 1898, due to (1) loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, canes, crutches, or a wheelchair, or (2) which includes (a) blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus (b) loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, or (3) loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, together with (a) residuals of organic disease or injury, or (b) the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair. It must be medically feasible for the veteran to reside in the proposed or existing housing unit, and in the locality. For an SHA grant, veterans who have a permanent and total service-connected disability which (1) is due to blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less, or (2) includes the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands.

Beneficiary Eligibility: Permanently and totally disabled veterans.

Credentials/Documentation: None.


Preapplication Coordination: None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure: Initial application for determination of basic eligibility may be made on VA Form 26-4555 to the VA regional office holding the veteran's claim folder. After eligibility determination a VA employee will personally assist the veteran throughout subsequent processing, including advice on a suitable house plan and lot, adaptation, location of a qualified builder and architect, preparation of supplemental application necessary for final grant approval.

Award Procedure: The VA regional office disburses the grant proceeds to the veteran or to his or her account after conditions of the proposal and contract are fulfilled.

Deadlines: None.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: From 30 to 60 days for determination of basic eligibility and medical feasibility; 30 to 60 days after receipt of supplemental application with supporting papers.

Appeals: Denial of eligibility is appealable through the Board of Veterans' Appeals. In the event of a denial, claimants are advised of appeal rights and procedures at the time of notification.

Renewals: Not applicable.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals:

Examples of Funded Projects:

Range & Average of Financial Assistance: SAH: For the housing unit, land, fixtures, and allowable expenses, up to $38,000. SHA: For adaptations to the veteran's residence, up to $6,500.


64.106 PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In fiscal year 1995, 460 grants were made to disabled veterans. Outputs for fiscal years 1996 and 1997 are expected to be at least 460 each year.



Type of Assistance: Direct Payments for Specified Use.

Obligations: (Direct Payments) FY 95 $15,519,000; FY 96 $16,000,000; and FY 97 est $16,000,000.

Budget Account Number: 36-0137-0-1-702.

Authorization: Public Laws 80-702, 96-385 and 97-66, 38 U.S.C. 2101-2106.

Regulations, Guidelines, & Literature: 38 CFR 3.809 36.4400-36.4411 and title 38, United State Code, chapter 21; "Questions and Answers on Specially Adapted Housing for Veterans," VA Pamphlet 26-69-1, no charge; "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-96-1, $3.25, available from Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20202-9325; "Handbook for Design, Specially Adapted Housing," VA Pamphlet 26-13, available to eligible veterans.


Regional or Local Office: Applicants should communicate with the nearest Veterans Benefits Administration field office; case development and assistance will be accomplished by the VA office with jurisdiction of the location of the housing unit; see Appendix IV of the Catalog for addresses of these offices listed under Veterans Benefits Administration. Information may be obtained from the nearest regional office by calling toll free 1-800-827-1000.

Headquarters Office: Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Phone: (202) 273-7390.


Formula & Matching Requirements: For an SAH grant, VA provides 50% of the cost to the veteran of the housing unit, land, fixtures and allowable expenses, not to exceed a maximum grant of $38,000. For an SHA grant, VA provides lesser of (1) actual cost of adaptations or (2) $6,500.

Length & Time Phasing of Assistance: Usually if veteran already owns a suitable house, grant is disbursed in lump sum. In alteration and construction cases, grant is disbursed by specified construction completion phases approved by VA.

Uses & Use Restrictions: a. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program provides 50% of the cost to the veteran of the housing unit, land, fixtures, and allowable expenses, not to exceed a maximum grant of $38,000. The money may be used for assistance in (1) construction of a suitable home on land to be acquired by the veteran, or (2) construction of a home on suitable land owned by the veteran, or (3) remodeling an existing home if it can be suitably adapted, or (4) for application against an outstanding mortgage on a specially adapted home owned by the veteran. In computing the amount of the grant payable to a veteran, the housing unit cost may include incidental expenses such as connections or extensions to public facilities, customary attorney's, architect's, loan closing and other service fees. Restrictions on the use of a grant are that if a loan is necessary to supplement the grant, monthly payments and the cost of maintaining the housing unit must bear a proper relation to the veteran's present and prospective income; the housing unit must be suitable for the veteran's special dwelling needs; the veteran's acquired interest in or title to the property must meet standards generally acceptable to informed real estate market participants in the locality of property. b. The Special Housing Adaptions (SHA) program provides for a grant for certain disabled veterans to cover the actual costs, not to exceed $6,500, of adaptations to the veteran's residence, which he or she owns, will own, or is owned by a member of the veteran's family, and is residing in and intends to continue to reside in, which are made necessary due to the veteran's disability.


Reports: None.

Audits: None.

Records: None.

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