If a homeowner is struggling trying to keep up with home maintenance and repairs due to financial burdens there are options for assistance through grants from various sources. Government agencies, private organizations and foundations offer grants that allow eligible homeowners funding to make necessary improvements to the house they own.
Federal government home improvement grant programs specifically target the elderly and veterans by offering different types of grants based on certain criteria and the awarded grant money can only be used within the guidelines for that grant. The USDA branch of the federal government offers home repair grants known as Section 504 Home Repair to very low income elderly homeowners to fund the removal of health and safety hazards in their home,. To qualify for this grant the homeowner must be age 62 or older and not in the financial position to repay a repair loan that is also offered by the federal government.
The stipulations of this federal grant are; monies can only be used for repairs that are deemed a health and/or safety hazard, total grant money awarded has a lifetime limit of $7,500 and if property is sold in less than 3 years it must be repaid. The VA branch of the federal government has two grant programs for qualifying veterans and service members with certain permanent and total service related disabilities. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant allows those qualified to construct an adapted home, modify an existing home or pay off principle on an adapted home already purchased without the use of the VA grants. The Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant assists those qualified to be able to fund modifications to make an existing home or to purchase a home that has been or needs to be modified to meet the needs of the disability. Additional information and qualification criteria details for any of these housing programs are on the federal government website.
Home repair assistance programs can also be found on the state and local government level through several programs and may include grant money for homeowners or the community. HUD will specify a certain amount of monies that can be used at the state’s county and local level for helping improve areas that are in plight. A homeowner may benefit from accessing and using these funds to help pay for repairs or improvements on their home. The availability of funds and eligibility and criteria vary from state to state. Some of the more popular programs offered are to assist with improvements that will help the overall betterment of the community, weatherization programs for problem areas and assistance with remediation of hazardous conditions of the home.
Private foundations and non-profit organizations are also a great source for homeowners that need home improvement grants. These groups are on national and local levels and are willing to help if the homeowner meets eligibility for the grant. A committee will review all eligible applications and award grants to the homeowner based on need or other criteria. If awarded the grant, the homeowner must follow the conditions and rules on what home repair expenditures can be paid with the awarded money. Not adhering to the criteria will most likely end in the homeowner having to pay back the grant monies.
Homeowners need to take the time to find out for themselves if they qualify for any of these grants since these agencies are not going to seek out the homeowner to apply.