A new legislation by the government in New Brunswick will give senior citizens more reasons to renovate their homes. The Gallant government plans to introduce a tax credit for home renovations to make them stay in their homes longer.
“Caring for our seniors is a top priority for our government. We will soon be introducing legislation to create a Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit which will help New Brunswick seniors maintain their independence and remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible,” Social Development Minister Cathy Rogers said.
The Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit will give senior citizens a refundable personal income tax credit of up to $1,000 a year for eligible costs of home renovations of up to $10,000. This program will target those who either own or rent a house. Senior citizens who live with their families are also eligible for the tax credit. The tax credit will take effect on 2015 taxation year.
The government recognizes the challenge of senior care and takes active steps to address them As Premier David Alward said: “Seniorcare is a priority of our government as the challenge of the changing demographic will be with us for the coming years. We recognize seniors want to live with dignity, respect and in their own homes and we want to help them achieve that goal.”
The incentive will produce a domino effect by encouraging senior citizens to renovate their homes, thus creating demand for construction jobs, encouraging spending and bolstering the economy. As Finance Minister Roger Melanson said: “Not only will our new tax credit help seniors remain in their own homes longer, it will also create jobs in the construction industry and generate an estimated $15 million in spending to support the economy and move our province forward.”
Home First Strategy
The Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit is part of the government’s Home First Strategy. It is a three-year approach that aims to support senior citizens in New Brunswick so they can live in their own homes and continue to be part of their communities. The strategy consists of three pillars, namely Healthy Aging, Appropriate Supports and Care and Responsive, Integrated and Sustainable System.
“We want all New Brunswickers, and especially our seniors, to be supported in better managing their health conditions at home and in their community,” “With enhanced services and support from the Extra-Mural Program and home-support workers, we will be offering a more effective patient-focused model of care. It will reduce pressure on more expensive and resource-intensive acute care services,” said Health Minister Hugh Flemming.
This project indicates a change of philosophy and practice for the government when it comes to their senior citizens. From hospital admissions, lengthy hospital stays, and transfers directly from hospital to residential facilities, they are now focusing on making their senior citizens remain at home. As Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé said:
“The Home First strategy represents a significant shift in health care thinking and reflects our government’s commitment to patient and family-centered care. We want our seniors to have appropriate care, in the right place, and be able to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.”
The strategy is the result of a collaborative effort between the departments of Social Development, Healthy and Inclusive Communities, Health, Vitalité Health Network and Horizon Health Network. It is also derived from feedback received from seniors, families, senior-related service providers and health care professionals.