There are federal programs available that sponsor grants helping seniors in various ways. Some grants cover home-improvement projects needed by low-income seniors. Funds are also used to provide seniors with an alternate means of transportation as well as daily meals and rent assistance. These grants are not required to be repaid; however some programs recoup payments if seniors do not fulfill their obligations.
Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program
Seniors who need financial help removing health and safety hazards from their homes are eligible for grants from the Very Low-Income Housing Repair program. Grant funds are also used to renovate and repair homes after the removal of these hazards. As of 2011, the maximum grant amount under this program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is $7,500. Recipients cannot sell their homes within three years of getting grants or the program can seek repayment of funds.
Supportive Housing for the Elderly
The Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsors grants used to construct new or modify existing housing structures and make them more accessible for seniors. Grants are also used to finance land acquisitions. Rent assistance is provided to seniors as well; grants cover the difference between the unit’s operating expenses and amount of their rent which is generally 30 percent of their adjusted income.
Capital Assistance Program
The Capital Assistance Program, funded by the Department of Transportation, provides grants to nonprofit organizations to help seniors with transportation needs. These grant-funded transportation services are substitutes to public transit when it isn’t available and serve all areas including urban and rural. People with disabilities are also eligible to use transportation services funded by this program. To find out which organizations provide these services in your area, contact your state or local government transportation authorities.
Special Programs for the Aging
The Department of Health and Human Services funds the Special Programs for the Aging. This program provides grants to state agencies to provide meals, hot or cold, for seniors. These meals meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and served once a day and more than five times a week except in rural areas. Seniors receive meals in a congregate setting or have them delivered to their homes.