Modifying your home

You can make changes to your home to make it more accessible and to support you with daily tasks. Find out about common types of home modifications and how to get them.

Types of home modifications

There are many ways to change your home to support your disability. Here are some examples of common modifications.

  • Door and wall modifications: If you're a wheelchair user, door and wall modifications can help give you more turning space, make it easier to open and close doors and ensure you have access to all the rooms you need.
  • Level access showers: A level access shower is also known as a wet area shower. The floor of a level access shower is level with the bathroom floor so it's easier to get in and out of the shower.
  • Outdoor ramps: A ramp is a sloped walkway that makes it easier to move up to an entrance. There are two types of ramps: permanent and removable. Both can be used by people who use walkers or manual or power wheelchairs. Removable ramps are available on long-term loan.
  • Platform lifts: A platform lift has a flat surface, or platform, to hold people or objects. It can be used where there is not enough space or the ground is too steep for a ramp. The lift moves the platform up and down from the ground level. The lift is made of galvanised steel and is designed for outdoor use.
  • Stair lifts: A stair lift has a chair that a person can sit on as the lift travels between floors. The lift travels on a track fixed to the stairs or to the wall alongside the stairway. Stair lifts can be installed for stairs inside or outside of your home.

Getting home modifications

An Equipment and Modification Service (EMS) qualified housing assessor can work with you on what modifications best suit your needs. They will also help you work out the most cost-effective option and if you can get funding. Your doctor can refer you to an EMS qualified housing assessor or you can refer yourself through local hospital community health services.

The following services can also connect you with an EMS qualified housing assessor:

Who is eligible for support

Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People may be able to offer support with funding home modifications.

To be eligible for support you must have a physical, intellectual, sensory (vision or hearing) and/or age-related disability,

You must also:

  • have a long-term disability (a disability that is likely to continue for at least 6 months)
  • need specific equipment, or modifications to your home or vehicle, to help you manage and/or access your everyday activities
  • have a disability that is not already covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)
  • be a New Zealand resident usually living in New Zealand
  • be living in New Zealand at the time you request and receive the equipment or modifications.

Find out more about home modifications we can fund