The Ministry of Construction and Housing provides financial assistance for those with limited mobility for housing modifications or renovations which are necessary to allow for better functioning and mobility in and to the home.
- Amongst other things the assistance can include: the widening of doorways to make them accessible for wheelchairs, changes in the bathroom, modifications in the kitchen, the building of paths which provide accessibility to the home (ramps) and the installation of handrails, supports and wheelchair lifts.
- A complete list of items and modifications can be found in the Addendum * of the Assistance Guidelines.
- The assistance is provided in addition to all other assistance for which the recipient may be eligible in accordance with other Ministry of Construction and Housing assistance programs.
- The assistance is comprised of grants and loans. The loan rates are: indexing + 4% interest for a period of 28 years.
- Residents of public housing are entitled to a full grant for the modifications. In all other cases, the assistance is divided into four levels and is comprised either of a mixed grant-loan, or just a loan:
|Grant amount||Loan amount|
- The form of the assistance is determined according to the number of people living in the home, the number of rooms in the home and each family member's income. For residents of public housing, the grant is provided regardless of the number of rooms or income.
- For more information on the levels of assistance, see the Ministry of Construction and Housing website.
- The following chart outlines the process for assistance in funding assistance.
Who is Eligible?
- Assistance is entitled to those who have been established by a recognized medical institution (a hospital, insurance fun, and government rehabilitation frameworks) as one or more of the following:
- Those whose movement and/or functioning is limited as the result of illness or injury to the motor system.
- Those who are in the advanced stages of an illness (wheelchair bound, walk with the assistance of a prosthesis, walking device, crutches, etc.).
- If the disabled person or his family member (who is also his caregiver) switches to work in a different city and the following two conditions apply:
- The Inter-Departmental Committee found that they are required to move their place of residence, as well.
- Their new home does not meet their special needs and impacts their ability to function normally in daily life.
- Those who have previously received this type of assistance, if their condition has worsened and if, as a result of their disability, modifications must be performed in their current or future residence, in accordance with a rehabilitation worker report.
- Those recognized by the following bodies will be eligible to assistance from the Ministry of Construction and Housing, on condition that it has been established that they don't receive housing improvement assistance from the bodies that recognize their disabilities:
- IDF disabled veterans recognized as such by the Ministry of Defense.
- Work accident victims recognized as such by the National Insurance Institute.
- Victims of hostile acts recognized as such by the National Insurance Institute.
- Road accident victims recognized by the insurance companies or another entity.
- Assistance installing a wheelchair lift will be provided if the applicant lived in the home before requiring a wheelchair, and only if the wheelchair lift provides the sole solution to problems related to mobility in that home.
Who is Not Eligible?
- Anyone owning a home, but requesting to modify a relative's home.
- Anyone requesting assistance expanding or building a home.
- Anyone whose home had been modified before submitting the request whose condition then deteriorated.
- Anyone owning more than one home.
- Anyone living in a private monthly rental.
- IDF disabled veterans recognized as such by the Ministry of Defense that are eligible for housing improvement assistance from the Ministry of Defense.
- Work accident victims recognized as such by the National Insurance Institute that are eligible for housing improvement assistance from the National Insurance Institute.
- Victims of hostile acts recognized as such by the National Insurance Institute that are eligible for housing improvement assistance from the National Insurance Institute.
- Road accident victims that receive housing improvement assistance from the insurance companies.
Acceptable Types of Housing
- Those who meet one of the relevant criteria described above will be entitled to the assistance, as long as they live in one of the following types of housing in which they plan to perform the modifications:
How to Claim It?
Requests for assistance in modifying an apartment should be submitted before changes / renovations / adjustments are made, except in cases where the social worker of the Institute of Health, in coordination with the occupational therapist, recommend changes and confirm that they were carried out according to the recommendations.
Submitting a Request
- Residents of public housing must submit requests directly to the Ministry of Construction and Housing. No proof of income is required. The recommendation letter for modifications will be sent directly from the occupational therapist to the housing company.
- All other requests for assistance must be submitted through a social worker in a Ministry of Health bureau's chronic illness department. Click here to locate the closest department.
- Requests must be submitted on a special form for requests for assistance improving housing accommodations for people with limited mobility.
- An appointment must be made with an occupational therapist or relevant certified rehabilitation worker through the applicant's health plan.
- The following documents must be attached to the request (two copies must be submitted - an original and a photocopy):
- Request form for housing assistance filled out and signed by the applicant (or parents of an applicant who is a minor)
- Photocopies of national ID cards (תעודות הזהות) - For the applicant and family members living with the applicant.
- Information about the applicant's property rights - property tax documentation including lot and block number.
- Proof of income for family members living in the home for the 3 months which preceded application submission, includes bank printouts, as well as documentation of benefits, salary, pension, and any other income. If the applicant lives in public housing, proof of income is not required. If the applicant is an adult with limited mobility who lives with a first-degree relative (child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild), only the applicant's income will be considered, and not family members' income.
- Medical documentation from a recognized medical facility (specialty doctor at a hospital/health plan, administrative doctor at a rehabilitation facility) detailing the applicant's condition and functioning capacity.
- If the applicant requires a wheelchair- documentation from the Ministry of Health indicating this.
- Recommendation from an occupational therapist, rehabilitation worker or public health nurse detailing the required modifications to make the home suitable for the applicant's needs; the recommendation must also include a diagram of the home before and after suggested modifications with indication of the location of the bathroom fixtures.
- Social work report referring to the impact of the current housing accommodations on the applicant's personal, familial and social functioning capacity, as well as the rehabilitation plan, if applicable.
- A price estimate given within 90 days prior to submission of the request must be provided on a uniform form. The estimate must include the contractor and applicant's details, details of the modifications in accordance with the occupational therapist recommendation, and the dimensions, quantities and price of every item. If the request is for modifications related to building access, the estimate must include the length of the access path, the width of the access path and the relevant differences in height.
- Commitment from the applicant that the grant will only be used to perform the approved modifications.
- If an applicant lives permanently with family members (and the home is not registered under the applicant's name), these family members must provide a commitment that the grant will only be used to perform the approved modifications.
- If assistance which is greater than the maximum grant amount is required, a request with an attached post-site visit professional opinion from a Ministry of Health technical department representative and the Ministry of Construction and Housing regarding the cost of the modifications will be reviewed.
- For wheelchair lift requests - two price estimates from two different suppliers that have a Standards Association Stamp (tav teken).
- For wheelchair lift requests - approval from the Ministry of Health must be attached, which indicates that the applicant is eligible to receive financial assistance towards the purchase of a wheelchair.
- For ramp requests - an opinion from a district technical department representative confirming that the plan is proper.
- If interior modifications or building access modifications are being performed in a public housing complex, and the public housing company's price estimate is sufficient, then a professional opinion regarding the properness of the plan/work is not required. The public housing company must indicate in its records that the apartment has been made accessible for someone with disabilities.
- For homeless applicants requesting modifications to a first-degree relative’s residence - An affidavit must be attached which indicates that they will be barred from having their eligibility for public housing be reviewed for 4 years from receiving the assistance.
- The Ministry of Health social worker will forward the request and documentation to the Ministry of Construction and Housing so that it may be reviewed and for continuation of the request process.
- After receiving the request, the inter-departmental committee will review the request for assistance.
- Following this review, applicants will receive a letter indicating if the committee has found them to be eligible or ineligible to receive the assistance.
- Those who are found to be eligible for assistance will receive a certificate of eligibility to receive housing assistance in the mail, which will include the approved loan amount and will be valid for six months from the date of issue.
- Those who are found to be ineligible will receive an explanation for denial of the request from the social worker.
- Committee decisions may be appealed.
- The assistance is provided in addition to all other assistance the recipients receives (if any) according to other Ministry of Construction and Housing assistance programs.
- Requests to receive assistance to perform a housing modification must be submitted before any modifications/renovations are performed, except in cases where a Ministry of Health bureau social worker, in coordination with an occupational therapist, have recommended modifications and it will be confirmed that they were performed according to these recommendations.
- When exterior modifications are required, it is important to pay attention to the fact that some modifications require the consent of a majority/all tenants, while some do not require the consent of others. If the relevant lands supervisor finds that a homeowner opposes the performance of modifications for reasons that are unreasonable, or makes his/her consent conditional on something which is unreasonable, the lands supervisor is permitted to consent to the modifications instead of that homeowner:
- Installation of a wheelchair lift requires the consent of the majority of the building's homeowners.
- Installation of an elevator requires the consent of 2/3 of the building's homeowners.
- Requests to the District Inter-Departmental Committee for Assistance Improving Housing for Those with Limited Mobility related to installation of a ramp and/or wheelchair lift, or any other work performed in public spaces will only be reviewed if submitted with a proper building permit or affidavit signed by the applicant before a lawyer wherein it is indicated that relevant authorities were contacted and subsequently informed the applicant that a building permit is unnecessary.
- "Homeless" individuals who are eligible and request that a modification be performed in the home of a first degree relative must submit a signed commitment indicating that they understand that this assistance provides a housing a solution and therefore upon receiving the assistance to perform modifications at their family member's home, they will not be permitted to have their eligibility for public housing reviewed for four years from the date the assistance is received.
- The loan may be received from any mortgage bank, according to the recipient's preference.
- Click here for a comprehensive categorized listing of organizations providing assistance related to housing.
- Click here for a comprehensive categorized listing of aid organizations offering assistance and support for people with disabilities.
Laws and Regulations
- The Public Housing Tenant's Rights Law
- The Lands Law, Section 59c - Modifications for a person with disabilities - Required consent from tenants for modifications to common property
- Ministry of Construction and Housing Procedure 08/10 from 16.03.2006 - Assistance improving living conditions for those with limited mobility
- Original translation by AACI's Shira Pransky Project.