Owning a home is one of the most rewarding experiences but it can also be expensive. From roof repairs to electrical work, there are many repairs that homeowners have to face.
Fortunately, the U.S. government offers free grants for homeowners needing repair money. Keep reading to learn more about these grants and how to get them.
Home Improvement Grants For Homeowners
Grants for homeowners are financial assistance programs that provide funds to help cover the costs of home repairs, improvements, and renovations. They are typically available to low-income households, veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Additionally, grants may be used to cover the cost of repairs, improvements, and renovations to a home, including roof replacement, electrical upgrades, plumbing repairs, and more. They may also be used to pay for energy-efficient upgrades, such as insulation, energy-efficient windows, and solar panels.
Grants may also be used to purchase or repair major appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers. In some cases, they are used to purchase or repair a home, such as for first-time homebuyers.
Where To Find Free Grants For Homeowners For Repairs
In the United States, there are over 1.3 million grants available for homeowners each year. They are typically provided by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations.
Over 85% of grants for homeowners are provided by the federal government. The most common types of grants are for energy efficiency improvements, home repairs, and down payment assistance.
Here are some of the most popular home improvement grants:
The HOME Investment Partnerships Program is a HUD housing program that makes homeownership more accessible to those with limited income. The grant is given to the state and awarded to local non-profit groups that build, buy, and rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or ownership.
HOME is not awarded to individuals or households. Rather, it's given to cities, counties, and private developers.
To be considered, you must participate in the following activities that benefit low-income homebuyers and renters:
- Construction or rehabilitation of multifamily projects
- Construction and downpayment assistance for single-family projects
- Owner-occupied rehabilitation
- Tenant-based rental assistance
- First-time homebuyer down payment assistance
How To Apply
To apply, contact your local HUD department and inquire about open applications. Different counties and states have various programs running at different times.
Submit an application and wait for the awarding notice.
The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides much-needed housing grants to very low-income homeowners making repairs or improvements essential for health, safety, and security.
This grant is awarded to individuals who can use the proceeds to repair, improve, and modernize their homes. Grants must also be used to remove health and safety hazards.
To qualify for the program, you must meet the following criteria:
- You are the current homeowner occupying the house
- You can't obtain affordable credit elsewhere
- Your household income is within the very low limit set by your county
- You must be 62 and older and unable to repair a loan
How To Apply
To apply, follow these steps:
- Visit your local Rural Development Office and state your interest in applying for a loan or grant.
- Ask for the required forms and documentation and complete them.
- Work with the Rural Development Staff to complete the application process.
- Submit all the other requirements.
- Wait for the approval.
The Native American Housing Improvement Program (NAHIP) can help eligible tribes secure housing grants to make housing and housing-related improvements. To qualify, applicants must submit evidence that they are officially recognized Indian Tribe or Alaska Native.
These are the requirements to be eligible:
- Federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native
- Live in an approved tribal service area
- Income doesn't exceed 150% of the HHS Poverty Guidelines
- Current housing is considered substandard and unsafe
- Not a recipient of other federal housing assistance
How To Apply
Applications involve submitting documentation such as a tribal organization census listing, housing program plan details, contact information, housing development cost estimates, and more.
If accepted for NAHIP, submitted materials will be reviewed for their capacity to develop housing projects with the grant funding provided.
Other Financing Options For Home Repairs
Aside from those mentioned above, there are other financing options available for home repairs. You can explore these if you don't qualify for federal housing grants:
Cash-out refinance is a popular option for homeowners wishing to access their house's equity and put it towards house repairs, major purchases, or other expenses. Through this strategy, homeowners can take out a new mortgage loan with a higher balance than their current loan and use the difference between the two loans to receive cash in hand.
Homeowners should be mindful that cash-out refinancing can potentially increase total debt payments depending on their financial circumstances. Additionally, it carries some closing costs associated with drawing up a new loan agreement.
Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC)
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is an option for homeowners to access the equity in their house. It functions like a revolving credit card, where you can pull out funds as required, but interest rates tend to be lower than typical credit cards. This type of loan is great if you have multiple house repairs or projects that need financing.
The payments are determined based on the amount lent and associated payment terms, making repayment seamless and easy. HELOCs also provide more flexibility than traditional house loans, allowing homeowners to access their line at their own discretion so long as they meet repayment conditions set by the lender.
Weatherization Assistance Programs
Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAP) are federally funded programs that help lower-income families pay for house repairs and improvements to their homes aimed at increasing energy efficiency. It consists of inspections, minor house repairs, and improvements such as weather stripping and other forms of air sealing, foam insulation, caulking, or repairing broken windows.
The goal is to reduce the cost of energy bills by at least 20%, making it easier on pocketbooks when budgets are tight. These services are provided for free or at a very affordable cost, making them accessible to everyone eligible by income.
Take Advantage Of Free Grants For Homeowners Today
Home repairs can be costly, but fortunately, there are free grants available from the U.S. government specifically designed to assist low-income homeowners in need of repair money. Before applying for any of these grants, contact your local government or organization first to find out more about their specific requirements and application process. Doing this will ensure you get the best chance of being awarded a grant.
Discover more avenues to support your home repair projects. Our latest post unfolds how the National Fuel Funds Network can be a resource for assistance. Dive in to explore how to cushion your finances while addressing home repairs.
Unlock the potential of home improvement loans as an alternative to grants. Venture into our recent post to understand the dynamics of applying for a Home Improvement Loan in Texas, ensuring your home gets the attention it deserves without a financial strain. Stay informed, explore your options.
Since felons need decent housing, too, check out the different housing assistance for low-income felons in this blog.