Services and information


Overview

The Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) allows seniors to use their home equity to remain in their homes and maintain their independence. Eligible seniors can apply for a low-interest home equity loan with the Government of Alberta to cover repairs, adaptations, and/or renovations to their primary residence.

The intent is to help seniors:

  • remain independent in their homes
  • be safe in their homes
  • adapt and modify their homes to improve accessibility and mobility
  • improve the energy efficiency of their homes

Some project examples are:

  • bathroom/walk-in tubs
  • furnace and hot water tank upgrades
  • stair lifts
  • widening of doorways
  • roof and window replacement

You must provide a written cost-estimate or receipts for all project funds being applied for.

Seniors may apply for retroactive funding. Receipts must be provided for home repairs, adaptations or renovations completed and paid for within 12 months before the date that SHARP staff receives your application package.

A printable factsheet is available with information on eligibility, how to apply, repayments and other suggested resources.

On behalf of the Government of Alberta, Advanis is conducting phone surveys with recipients of the Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program. For more details on the survey, please read the Seniors Financial Assistance Surveys: Information for program recipients(PDF, 290 KB).

Loan details

SHARP provides a maximum loan of up to $40,000 to Alberta seniors and senior couples with a total annual income of $75,000 or less, and a minimum of 25% home equity in your primary residence where the work is to be completed.

SHARP will register a caveat against your land title certificate to secure the loan you receive.

Monthly re-payments are not required.

You can choose to repay the loan at any time, but it will automatically become due when:

  • you sell your home
  • you are no longer a registered owner
  • the home is no longer your primary residence

Interest rate charges

The current interest rate is 3.70%. It is reviewed, and may be adjusted, every 6 months in April and October. Simple interest charges start on the date that the program issues a loan and end when the loan is repaid in full.

“Simple interest” is only charged on the original amount of your loan (not on the loan plus interest)

Estimate your loan and interest charges for SHARP.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this program you must:

  • have an annual income of $75,000 or less
  • be 65 years of age or older (only one spouse/partner needs to be at least 65) and listed as a registered owner of a residential property in a Land Titles Office
  • be a Canadian citizen, or have been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence
  • be an Alberta resident, having lived in the province for at least 3 months

With consent, income information is collected directly from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Income considerations

Line 150 of your previous year’s tax return is used to determine eligibility. The following deductions from total income may be considered:

  • Adjustments for Pension Income Splitting
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan Income
  • Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit
  • Supplementary Accommodation Benefit (a supplement paid to seniors in long-term care or designated supportive living, this would be identified and deducted by Alberta Seniors and Housing)

Income information for other property owners is only required for the spouse/partner of the applicant.

Home equity

To qualify under SHARP, you must maintain a minimum of 25% equity in your primary residence after the loan amount is applied.

This means that all charges registered against the land title of your primary residence, including the requested SHARP loan amount, cannot exceed 75% of the property’s municipally assessed market value.

These charges may include:

  • the registered monetary value of a mortgage
  • any lines of credit, and
  • the dollar amount of the loan requested from SHARP

Registered charges

Charges registered against a land title may prevent loan repayment and must be removed before you can qualify for a SHARP loan. Common examples of charges that may prevent loan eligibility are:

  • certificate of lis pendens (pending litigation)
  • reverse mortgage
  • maintenance enforcement, or
  • bankruptcy

Property value

The dollar value of your home and land is based on the property tax assessment prepared annually by your municipal government.

Land ownership

Your property may qualify for a loan if:

  • it is your primary residence
  • it is registered with a Land Titles Office
  • you have a fee simple or leasehold
  • the home is covered by home insurance, at full replacement value
  • the home has sufficient equity

Seniors who own pre-fabricated, mobile or manufactured homes may qualify for a loan if they also own the land on which the home is situated.

The residential portion of farmland or commercial property may also be considered.

If you are not eligible for a loan

If it is determined you are not eligible for a loan (for example, you have insufficient equity or are not a homeowner) and you are a single senior with annual income less than $27,690, or a senior couple with annual income less than $44,965, your application may be considered for a grant to help cover some basic and essential home repairs.

You will be contacted by SHARP staff during the review of your application and informed of any financial assistance for which you may be eligible.

Learn more about the SHARP grant.

How to apply

Step 1:  Read the information guide

Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program Information Guide.

Step 2: Complete the application form and agreement

Complete and sign the Loan Application and Agreement, included in the information guide.

Please ensure you have included all the information needed to support your application.

You may also wish to fill out a Direct Deposit form (PDF, 38 KB) and submit it along with your application.

Step 3: Mail the completed form

Mail the completed application to:

Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP)
PO Box 1050 STN Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2M1

After you apply

SHARP staff will review your application and may contact you or your contractor by phone for additional information.

When the review of your application is complete, you will receive written notification of your eligibility.

If a loan is approved, a caveat will be registered on your certificate of title in a Land Titles Office.

Approved funds will be deposited into your bank account.

If you are issued a loan, you will receive semi-annual loan statements in April and October confirming the balance of your loan.

Consumer information and cancellation rights

Consult the home renovation tipsheet (PDF, 315 KB) before hiring a contractor.

Under this program you have cancellation rights if you sign a contract for home repairs, adaptations and renovations and it is determined you are not eligible for a loan.

Services or materials agreed to in the contract cannot be accepted by you (for example, services received or installed) before you are notified by the program that you are ineligible for a loan or you will lose your cancellation rights.

To enable your cancellation rights you must apply to SHARP within 45 days of the date you sign the contract. If you cancel a contract within 30 days of receiving notification from the program that you are ineligible for a loan, you are not required to begin or pay for the home repairs, adaptations and renovations agreed to in the contract. The contractor must refund any money you have paid to them under the contract within 15 days.

If you are eligible for a loan, you do not have cancellation rights under SHARP, but you may have other rights under the Consumer Protection Act

Learn more about contractor responsibilities when dealing with cancellations and contracts for SHARP applicants.

Loan repayment

Monthly re-payments are not required. You can choose to repay the loan at any time, but it will automatically become due when:

  • you sell your home
  • you are no longer a registered owner
  • the home is no longer your primary residence

You may choose to repay all or part of the loan and interest at any time without penalty. Payments toward the loan will apply to the interest first.

Once the loan is repaid in full, the caveat will be discharged from the land title certificate.

To repay all or part of your loan, provide a cheque or money order payable to the Government of Alberta, write your Personal Health Number on the cheque and mail it to:

Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program
PO Box 1050 STN Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2M1

To determine the outstanding balance owed on your loan, contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre. A program specialist will contact you directly and prepare a payout statement for your reference.

Survivorship

If an applicant who has a SHARP loan passes away, the full amount of the loan and any interest will become due. However, existing loans and eligibility to apply for future loans may continue for a surviving spouse/partner if the spouse/partner:

  • is 55 years of age or older
  • is a registered owner of the primary residence
  • lived in the primary residence before their spouse/partner passed away
  • continues to live in the primary residence

Loan limitations

The minimum loan amount that a household may request per application is $500.

This amount may include any eligible home repairs, adaptations and renovations completed within the previous 12 months.

The costs for multiple home repairs, adaptations or renovations can be combined toward the $500 minimum.

The maximum government loan amount that a household may have outstanding for their primary residence is $40,000, not including interest.

Accounting

If you applied with an estimate rather than a receipt, you will be asked to send in receipts showing that you purchased, and paid for, the home repairs, adaptations and renovations for which you received a SHARP loan.

Contact

To connect with the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:

Hours: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-9992 (in Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992

Please direct mail to:

Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP)
P.O. Box 1050 STN Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2M1