How To Repair Your Home With Federal Grant Money
(StraightNews.org) – Is your house a little worse for wear? Maybe you have let that “little problem” go unfixed for too long or are facing normal wear and tear. Either way, your house is probably due for some repairs. Significant home repairs can be very costly, and not everyone has extra money to do them.
Affording these repairs can be almost impossible for lower-income households. Especially since the cost of these repairs can raise the more you put off making them. Without these repairs, you can end up losing money if you choose to sell your home. If you can’t afford to make home repairs, don’t despair, help is out there.
Keep reading to find out about some federally funded grants to help you afford home repairs.
Housing and Urban Development Home Improvement Grants and Loans
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a wide variety of home improvement programs, mainly consisting of low-interest loans. Under Section 203(k), the standard rehabilitation and repair loan issues a mortgage to cover the purchase or rehabilitation and refinancing of homes over one year old. Additionally, the property must fall within the standard values for a conventional loan. Recipients of the loan must spend at least $5,000 on rehabilitation, which can be used for a wide variety of approved home improvements, including but not limited to roof replacement, major landscape work, or enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities.
Suppose you don’t want to take out a second mortgage or refinance your home. In that case, Title I loans can help you make “useful” improvements such as solar energy systems, accessibility improvements, and installations of built-in appliances. They can also be used for building non-residential items such as sheds but cannot be used for pools or other luxury items. Depending on need, applicants can receive up to $25,000.
Disaster Home Assistance
Homes that receive damage from a natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, hurricane, or tornado can apply for assistance from the FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency).
Through these grants, the FEMA Individuals and Households Program distributes funds to cover basic repairs and are only available if your home is in a declared disaster area. Grants can be used for both temporary housing and repairing or replacing your home.
Sometimes, your state may offer additional disaster assistance. Remember, these programs are only available to those living in declared disaster areas.
The Section 504 Home Repair program offers loans to extremely low-income homeowners and grants to elderly homeowners to fix a specific list of health and safety hazards. This program is limited to owners or renters earning below certain limits and who cannot receive affordable loans. It is only available in some rural regions.
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, this program is primarily designed to assist people aged 62 and older.
Weatherization Assistance Program
If you are struggling to afford your energy bills due to issues with insulation in your home, you can apply to the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Funded by the federal government, state agencies administer this program, prioritizing households with children, members over 60, or people with disabilities.
Available grants allow approved contractors do a whole house weatherization after an energy audit. This can include repairing and replacing cooling and heating systems, installing energy-efficient lighting, replacing a refrigerator or freezer with a newer model, or adding and upgrading insulation. WAP aims to help recipients save money and lower energy costs.
These are just some of the many federal programs that can help low-income households, people with disabilities, homes with children, and the elderly afford to make home repairs or accessibly updates. If you or someone you love are struggling to pay for home repairs, these grants and loans may be able to help.
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