Accessible remodeling: Financing

Depending on the planned and necessary expenditure, a barrier-free conversion of the own four walls can put quite a strain on the budget. Expensive especially if changes to floor plan are necessary because rooms need to be enlarged or elaborate ramps need to be installed. In many cases, such a cost-intensive conversion is only possible with financial help from third parties. However, the design of barrier-free living spaces is not only promoted when it becomes necessary due to old age or illness, but thanks to the future-oriented housing policy, already beforehand. For this purpose, there are various financial aids on the market, which are granted either as a grant or as a loan, but which are linked to certain conditions.

Building plan house calculator © Marina Lohrbach,

Insurance pays

If barrier-free rebuilding is due to age or need for care, the long-term care insurance fund steps in for some measures. Examples of items that fall within the scope of long-term care insurance include the replacement of shower, or. Bath tub, door widenings or ramps. The prerequisite for the subsidy is the provision of care at home, or the provision of a home care service. Of the independent living. If an accident or illness leads to the need for barrier-free renovation of the living space, rehabilitation agencies such as health insurance, pension insurance, accident insurance or the Federal Employment Agency support a conversion.

Which financing assistance for the respective concerning comes into question, about it the regional housing consultation gives information. As with all subsidies, however, it is essential to apply to the relevant subsidy provider before starting the construction project. Municipal financing programs and housing subsidies in the individual states also take up the promotion of conversion and adaptation measures. However, they are very different in type and scope and should also be asked at the regional housing counseling in case of need.

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Subsidy for barrier-free conversion

Subsidies © Doc Rabe,

The KfW banking group is not only responsible for low-interest loans, but also for the promotion of investments for barrier-free accessibility in owner-occupied properties in the form of a grant. The maximum grant is 6.250 euros per residential unit (as of February 2019). In addition, the KfW grant may be coupled with other third-party grants and can also be combined with KfW programs 141 (Housing Modernization Standard) and 124 (Home Ownership).

On the other hand, it is not possible to combine a grant and loans from any federal or state subsidy programs or even the KfW loan variant no. 159. It should be noted that the subsidies granted are linked to certain conditions. Thus, the application must be made before the start of construction and it may only refer to construction measures that may only be carried out by a specialist, not to auxiliary materials or furniture. The subsidy can be applied for by house and apartment owners who live in their own homes, as well as by tenants and private landlords.

Loan for age-appropriate renovation

In addition to the possibility of grants for a planned barrier-free conversion, the KfW Bank still grants special loans for these purposes. Anyone who wants to remove barriers in an existing, owner-occupied home, who is purchasing a new property with these criteria, who is a tenant (with the landlord's consent) and wants to convert it to meet the needs of the elderly, or who wants to renovate a rented property to make it barrier-free, can apply for a low-interest loan (program 159) from the credit bank. Subsidies are available for eligible remodeling costs as well as incidental expenses, such as the architect. Per home, the cap is 50.000 euros, but the funding program can be coupled with other KfW programs. For example, with the energy conservation measures, which is also advisable from an economic point of view.

Only the 455 grant program cannot be paired with the loan option! When applying for a KfW loan, as with the grant program, the application must be made before construction begins. Likewise, in addition to the funding application and the description of the measure to check eligibility for funding, a confirmation from the tradesman or architect must also be enclosed.