Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4599
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Full Text of HB4599  103rd General Assembly



State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 1/31/2024, by Rep. Maurice A. West, II


New Act

    Creates the Home Modification Program Act. Provides that the purpose of the Act is to establish a home modification funding system that is streamlined, effective, and administered by experts within the disability community. Provides that, subject to appropriation, the Department of Human Services shall establish a Home Modification Program to provide financial assistance to persons with disabilities for home modification projects. Requires the Department to designate a statewide association that represents centers for independent living to serve as the lead agency to administer the program. Requires the Department to provide funding for the Program. Requires the lead agency to distribute any moneys it receives from the Department to the State's 22 centers for independent living, covering all 102 counties. Provides that the lead agency shall ensure that each center for independent living has access to at least $105,000 to use for home modification projects, with the excess funds subject to reallocation during the 4th fiscal quarter of each year. Contains provisions concerning eligibility requirements for applicants under the Program; the lead agency's establishment of a Home Modification Subcommittee to provide additional oversight of the home modification projects; and an administrative fee to the lead agency.

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HB4599LRB103 37401 KTG 67523 b

1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Home
5Modification Program Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds and
7declares the following:
8        (1) The national average monthly cost for a private
9    nursing home room in 2020 was $8,821 ($105,852 annually).
10    Home modifications paired with other resources can allow
11    individuals to remain in their homes at a lower overall
12    expense.
13        (2) According to an AARP study, 90% of people age 65
14    and over would prefer to stay in their own homes as they
15    get older and not go to a nursing home or assisted living
16    facility.
17        (3) On June 22, 1999, the United States Supreme Court
18    held in Olmstead v. L.C., 119 S. Ct. 2176 (1999), that
19    unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities
20    constitutes discrimination in violation of Title II of the
21    Americans with Disabilities Act. At the heart of its
22    decision were 2 concepts. First, "institutional placement
23    of persons who can handle and benefit from community



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1    settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons
2    so isolated are incapable of or unworthy of participating
3    in community life". Second, "confinement in an institution
4    severely diminishes the everyday life activities of
5    individuals, including family relations, social contacts,
6    work options, economic independence, educational
7    advancement, and cultural enrichment".
8        (4) The United States has roughly 1,200,000 adults in
9    nursing homes and over 360,000 people in psychiatric and
10    other 24-hour care institutions across the country, and
11    waiting lists for housing subsidies across the country
12    average over 2,000 households per list and have a median
13    of 1.5 years, and up to 7-year waits in some areas.
14        (5) There is an estimated shortage of 7,000,000
15    affordable housing units and less than 5% of the units
16    that do exist fit access standards for individuals with
17    moderate mobility needs. In Chicago, less than 1% of units
18    are accessible.
19        (6) With a growing shortage of nurses and caregivers,
20    home modifications can reduce the need for home support
21    and alleviate stress on the health care system.
22        (7) According to a report released in 2021 by the U.S.
23    Census Bureau, nearly 3,900,000 veterans receive
24    disability compensation payments. These veterans have
25    sacrificed in service to their country and for the defense
26    of our freedoms. Home modifications will help Illinois



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1    veterans to regain and maintain their own freedom to
2    utilize their homes and access the world around them.
3        (8) Current grant recipients of home modifications
4    funding have not had access to the expertise needed to
5    effectively provide resources and or services for people
6    with disabilities. Centers for independent living possess
7    the expertise to provide knowledgeable guidance to assist
8    people with disabilities with home modifications through
9    accessibility audits of current or prospective homes to
10    guarantee equal opportunity to live in the community.
11    Section 10. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to
12establish a home modification funding system that is
13streamlined, effective, and administered by experts within the
14disability community.
15    Section 15. Definitions. As used in this Act:
16        "Department" means the Department of Human Services.
17        "Disability" means, with respect to an individual:
18            (1) a physical or mental impairment that
19        substantially limits one or more major life activities
20        of the individual;
21            (2) a record of such an impairment; or
22            (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.
23        An individual meets the requirement of "being regarded
24        as having such an impairment" if the individual



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1        establishes that he or she has been subjected to an
2        action prohibited under the Americans with
3        Disabilities Act of 1990 because of an actual or
4        perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not
5        the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major
6        life activity.
7        "Home modification" means any change to the structure
8    of a residential home or property to create barrier free
9    living, provide access to and from the home, create
10    universal design, or avoid institutionalized or congregate
11    placement for persons with a disability.
12        "Older adult" means any person 60 years of age or
13    older.
14        "Universal design" means any dwelling unit designed
15    and constructed that is safe and accessible for everyone,
16    regardless of age, physical ability, or stature.
17    Section 20. Home Modification Program. Subject to the
18availability of appropriations in an amount sufficient to
19implement and administer the provisions of this Act, the
20Department shall establish a Home Modification Program to
21provide financial assistance to persons with disabilities for
22home modification projects. The Department shall designate a
23statewide association that represents centers for independent
24living to serve as the lead agency to administer the program.
25The Department shall provide funding to the lead agency for



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1the program. The lead agency shall distribute any moneys it
2receives from the Department to the State's 22 centers for
3independent living, covering all 102 counties. The lead agency
4shall ensure that each center for independent living has
5access to at least $105,000 to use for home modification
6projects, with the excess funds subject to reallocation during
7the 4th fiscal quarter of each year.
8    Section 25. Home modification standards and
10    (a) To qualify for financial assistance under the Home
11Modification Program, an applicant must meet the following
13        (1) Be a resident of the State of Illinois.
14        (2) Be a person with a disability as defined in
15    Section 15. An older adult or veteran who has a disability
16    as defined in Section 15 meets this requirement.
17        (3) Have proof of disability from an agency other than
18    a center for independent living when a disability is not
19    obvious or readily apparent.
20        (4) Be a homeowner or a residential tenant who has
21    obtained the permission of his or her landlord to make the
22    home modification. If a tenant and landlord agree to the
23    home modification, both parties must sign off on final
24    approval, as well as sign a statement of non-fraudulent
25    intent.



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1        (5) Have income that does not exceed 200% of area
2    median income.
3        (6) Have not applied for, and been found to be
4    currently eligible for, a separate home modification
5    program or separate substantially similar services
6    administered, coordinated, or provided by the Department
7    and its divisions. Nothing in this paragraph requires a
8    qualified applicant to apply for services through the
9    Department and its divisions.
10    (b) Assessment.
11        (1) An applicant's home must undergo a thorough
12    assessment by a trained center for independent living
13    staff member. The staff member shall make a written report
14    of the results of the assessment.
15        (2) The lead agency shall establish a Home
16    Modification Subcommittee of experienced center for
17    independent living staff to provide additional oversight,
18    including, but not limited to:
19            (A) Reviewing the submitted assessment report and
20        bid for at least the first 3 home modification
21        requests from a center for independent living or when
22        new staff is hired.
23            (B) Reviewing any request for more than $35,000.
24    (c) Contractors.
25        (1) When selecting a contractor, a center for
26    independent living must seek bids from at least 2



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1    contractors, choosing the lowest responsible bidder.
2        (2) All contractors must be licensed, where
3    applicable, insured, and follow all local, State, and
4    federal requirements, including the requirements under the
5    Illinois Accessibility Code.
6    Section 30. Administration of home modification funds. The
7lead agency shall receive an administrative fee of 3% from all
8moneys that are passed through the lead agency for the purpose
9of the Home Modification Program.