Mom and Daughter Gain Accessibility with Loan Program

Velina has always been an avid learner.  When she immigrated to Boston from Bulgaria, she had already earned two degrees. While still learning how to navigate a new culture, she earned an MBA and is currently working on her doctoral degree.  Perhaps most importantly, however, Velina recently learned how to remodel a home to make it more accessible.

Velina’s daughter, Didi, was born with a rare genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a bone disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily. After Didi broke her arm and her foot in 2017, she had to use a wheelchair to get around. Things were manageable at the time, but Velina was concerned that as Didi grew, it would become more difficult should Didi suffer another fracture.

During a medical visit at Children’s Hospital, a social worker told Velina about the Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) administered by Metro Housing|Boston.

The HMLP, a program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, assists homeowners and small landlords to pay to keep family members with disabilities in their homes. For example, the program provides loans to install ramps and lifts, widen doorways, and alter kitchens and bathrooms.

Working with Metro Housing staff, Velina applied for and received the loan that would improve accessibility for Didi in the bathroom and kitchen. Didi actually helped design the remodeled spaces herself.

“The renovation was really helpful when I experienced a more serious fracture this year,” said Didi. “It was much easier to get around thanks to the modifications.”

Added Velina, “The contractors went above and beyond in helping us get the job done. We would never have been able to do this without HMLP and the highly professional, considerate, and timely support of Jennifer Shaw and Susan Shea at Metro Housing. We are very grateful.”

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