KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Pennsylvania seniors looking for some help to pay for their home renovations may be in luck. A state senate bill was just introduced to provide older homeowners a tax credit worth thousands of dollars.
Of the hundreds of senior citizens attending this year’s Luzerne County Senior Expo at the Kingston Armory on Thursday, many are concerned about the financial pinch they and others in their age bracket feel. “You know, people are on a fixed income. A lot of people don’t have a lot of money,” said Nancy Beach of Berwick. The last thing older homeowners need is a costly repair they cannot afford. 83-year-old homeowner Bob Stiff of Jackson Township said, “Got to replace a furnace, eight or $9,000. A roof.” Retiree Bonnie Dunnigan owns a home in Carverton. “I’m gonna need some repairs but I’m not giving it up. I’m not going into any kind of senior living yet,” she said.
State Senator John Yudichak (D) 14th District reflected on the situation facing many older Pennsylvanians. “Now, because of maintenance conditions, they’re forced to go into their pocket, it becomes very difficult.” Enter the Aging in Place bill. It’s a measure introduced in the state senate in September. Senate Bill 1382, which Sen. Yudichak co-sponsored, would establish the Livable Home Tax Credit. Under the legislation, eligible homeowners would receive a tax credit up to $2,000 to renovate their homes to meet accessibility needs. The credit would expand to up to $5,000 in its second year allowing more older Pennsylvanians to stay in their homes. “That’s where we should have folks living out their days, their golden years. They’ve built this country. They’ve build Pennsylvania. They’ve made their contribution,” said Sen. Yudichak.
State Senator Lisa Baker (R) 20th District serves on the State Senate Aging & Youth Committee. “If we can do some minor things and keep people in their own home with some supports, it’s where people would like to be if they don’t need that higher level of care.”
Sen. Yudichak said he hopes the Aging in Place bill will go the Senate Aging & Youth Committee to push for a hearing and put it to a floor vote by the end of the year.