Several federal agencies provide grants for homeowners, renters and non-profit agencies to refurbish homes. These grants typically require the applicant to meet income level requirements to qualify for help. Once you receive grant funding, you must comply with the program guidelines or you may be obligated to repay the money. A HUD-approved housing counselor can help you determine which home refurbishing grant program is most appropriate for your needs.
USDA Rural Repair Grant
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides home repair grants to seniors aged 62 or older. The senior can get up to $7,500 to correct health and safety deficiencies on his property. The grant can also be used to modernize the home with new carpet or paint. This program is for very-low income seniors. The homeowner's income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income to qualify for a grant. The home must also be located in a USDA-designated rural area of the country for the senior to qualify for help.
Neighborhood Stablization Program
The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides grants to states and non-profit agencies to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed homes. As of June 2011, HUD has allocated $6.82 billion to more than 600 grantees. This program's goal is stabilize neighborhoods that have been hurt by abandoned homes and blight. The homes are renovated and put on the market at an affordable price. Families in the low-to-moderate income range are eligible to purchase these homes. You can find a list of grantees in your area that administers the NSP funding on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Resource Exchange website.
Specially Adapted Housing Grants
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides specially adapted housing grants to veterans with a service-related disability. The veteran can qualify to receive up to $63,780 to specially adapt his home, or purchase a home to specially adapt. To qualify for a grant, the veteran must have an injury that includes loss of use of both arms or legs, blindness in both eyes, or a severe burn injury. Typical adaptations include installing grab bars, lowering fixtures for more convenient access or widening doorways. Veterans with less severe injuries can apply to receive a grant up to $12,756 to specially adapt a home.
Weatherization Grant Program
Owners of federally assisted housing units can apply for a weatherization grant. Renters can also apply to have their housing unit weatherized. These Department of Energy grants are intended to help low-income families save on the costs of their utility bills with more efficient systems. To qualify for a weatherization grant, the family's total household income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Landlords qualify for a grant if 66 percent of the households in the building meet the income requirements. Typical efficiency measures include installing insulation, replacing heating and cooling systems, or reducing electrical base load consumption. The average annual savings is $350 per household.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Pamphlet 26-69-1: Questions on Specially Adapted Housing and Special Housing Adaptations (Online Version)
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Multifamily Weatherization Initiative Fact Sheet
Davina Price has been writing since 2003, specializing in grant and technical writing for government and nonprofit organizations. She currently is a licensed real-estate agent in Southern California and specializes in working with first-time home buyers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Southern California.