Get Home Improvement Grants
Do you need help getting your home repaired or renovated? Find out how you can get a government grant to make the repairs or upgrades at no cost to you!
If you are a senior, are disabled, a veteran or other identified group in the U.S., then you may be eligible for a home improvement grant. A grant never needs to be repaid, and in that respect is quite different from a loan. However, like a loan, grants have certain eligibility criteria you must meet before receiving the award. If you need to get your home repaired or renovated, but the estimates are more than you can afford, the chances are very good that you may receive funding to cover all or part of those expenses. Here is a list of government home improvement grants to get you started.
Rural Repair and Rehabilitation
Apply for this home improvement grant if you are a homeowner over the age of 62 and living in a designated rural area in the U.S. This grant is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The largest grant under this category is $7,500, and the loan is $20,000. There are income requirements. You must have a total combined household income that is less than 50% of the median income for your area. This program often goes by the name 504 Home Repair Grant.
U.S. Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
If you are experiencing financial hardship and weatherizing your home would help relieve financial strain, then you may qualify for this home improvement grant. This grant assists you in upgrading your home to make it more energy efficient. You must prove you are experiencing financial hardship and there are income verification thresholds that must be met. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) program is similar in that it assists qualified grantees to use the money to improve energy efficiency as it pertains to your utilities.
Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant (HISA)
If you are a veteran and need your existing home to be modified as a result of a service received disability, then you qualify for this grant. You can use funds to make improvements, repairs or any changes that are medically necessary. For example, you could widen entrances, make the bathroom or other smaller rooms accessible, or add a ramp on the front or back. You get a lifetime benefit of up to $6,800. Even if you are not a disabled veteran you can qualify for a $2,000 lifetime benefit for non-service-related disabilities.
State Based Offices on Aging
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designates money for home repairs to each state, from the federal government. To find the office in your area, use a search engine online and use the keywords “Area Agency on Aging”. Your local Federal Housing Administration office is also a good resource. The local FHA office is a good, first stop because they are aware of conditions in your area. They are also able to assist you in finding qualified service providers once you receive the grant.
National Charities for Home Repair
Many charities exist for assisting low income homeowners with their renovation and building needs. One of those in the forefront is Habitat for Humanity’s Home Preservation program. While this program does not call the money it offers a grant, essentially it is exactly that. The homeowner is given a “loan” but that money is paid off with sweat equity and charitable works. AmeriCorps also offers a grant in those areas impacted by natural disasters. The grant is called the Rebuilding Together Grant. Each year hundreds of U.S. citizens are displaced because of flooding, hurricanes, fires, or other disastrous natural events.
Important Differences Between a Grant and a Loan
When making the consideration about a grant versus a loan, it is important to compare the pros and cons of both types of financial products. Both a grant and a loan provide money, all or in part, for you to complete much needed repairs. Each has its own eligibility criteria, and this varies from state to state. Understanding what to expect from each type helps you make an informed decision before signing on the dotted line.
Loans for Home Improvement
Loans are money that is given to you with the intention of receiving it back at a predetermined time. In other words, you must pay it back. The time you are given to pay it back is called the “loan term”. With a loan you make monthly payments plus interest until it is all repaid. This interest is based on the annual percentage rate, which is also determined by your credit score.
Grants for Home Improvement
Grants are money that is given to you without the condition of repayment. However, while this may seem advantageous, if you default on any of the conditions you often must pay back the grant money. When applying for a grant do not falsify or get creative with your income numbers or misrepresent your personal finances. This type of activity is considered fraudulent and it often comes with a hefty penalty, sometimes even prison terms.