Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Help is Never Out of Reach

Jorge Reyes, TDHCA, 7/21/11

Caption below

Bertha Hill, Austin TX
Amy Young Barrier Removal Program
Photo: Jorge Reyes, TDHCA

When Bertha Hill moved into her home as a young mother in 1972, she had no problem reaching up or crouching down to all the cabinets in her kitchen. But time has a way of changing things. Now, as a grandmother, all that stretching and crouching is a lot more difficult.

“The top cabinets...I have them too high. Some of them I have to get my step ladder and get up there. And the bottom cabinets . . . they’re built in way back and I can’t get back under there,” says Ms. Hill. “It makes it hard to fix dinner for my grandchildren when they come to visit.”

When the local Meals on Wheels and More (MOWAM) representative came to talk to Ms. Hill about her meal service, she noticed the difficulty so she mentioned MOWAM’s Home Repair and Architectural Barrier Removal Program partly funded by the TDHCA’s Amy Young Barrier Removal Program. The program – funded through the state Housing Trust Fund administered by TDHCA - provides grant funds to nonprofit organizations and units of local government to assist persons with disabilities to make homes (rental or owner-occupied) more accessible.

“If it’ll make it easier for me to get around my kitchen, where do I sign,” Ms. Hill responded.

MOWAN not only made Ms. Hill’s kitchen accessible, it also built a new ramp to make easier for her to go in and out of her house. But it’s the kitchen Ms. Hill is excited about.

“I love my new cabinets! Everything’s easier to get to,” she said. “I don’t have to use that dangerous step ladder. And my grandchildren don’t have to wait for their dinner.”

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Amy Young Barrier Removal Program