Best low income home improvement grants - add value to your home

Discussion in 'Featured Posts of The Find Some Money Blog' started by admin, Dec 14, 2015.

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  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    Unlike loans grants do not need to be repaid (or have very favorable repayment rates), so a low-income home improvement grant can be a great way to get a leg up on your home improvement project without putting yourself further into debt. Typically, these government grants are given out to low income families who cannot afford to make critical repairs or improvements to their property. Critical work includes anything that prevents a property from being habitable.

    Types of Grants Available

    Low income home repair assistance is available from local city government, state housing departments, non-profit housing organizations and the U.S. federal government. All of these grants typically focus on bringing a house up to livable standards including security, plumbing, electricity, insulation and hygiene.

    Eligibility Requirements

    If, in addition to being considered low income, you are 62 years or older, have children or are receiving disability payments then you may be eligible for one of these grants. Low income in this instance is considered to be below 50% of the median income of your local area, however this can change for the different grants. There can also be other requirements specific to each grant.

    Vital Repairs

    In order to be considered your property must also be in need of vital repairs to maintain it's livability or to prevent a dangerous or unlivable situation from arising. This can include mold, mildew or vermin infestations, plumbing issues, electrical faults, damage to doors or windows that compromise security, roofing repairs and any other issues that may prevent a health hazard to the occupants.

    You may be required to submit proof of any of the above problems and this could be in the form of a photograph, a signed statement from an official member of a government body or an inspection from a grant assessor.

    Finding Low Income Home Improvement Grant

    Depending on the grant you are looking for (local, state, federal, or non-government) there are a few different places you can look for further information and to apply for a grant. A good point of reference is the government grant website which will be able to refer you to a local or state website. Alternatively you can go straight to Housing and Urban Development's website. If you are receiving disability payments you can also ask your payments officer about local government grants that may be available to you.

    How to Apply

    Once you have located an appropriate grant for you you should get a cost estimate for the repairs you will need to have done. Grants typically max out at $20,000 per person so this is something to be mindful of. Once you have your initial assessment (and you have determined that you fall within the $20,000 limit you should write down the Funding Opportunity Number, register at the Grants Government website.

    You will also have to provide details of any debt and financial assets you have so make sure to locate them beforehand. Once you have your account made, and all of your necessary information together start going through each step of the electronic grant applications process. If you have trouble with this section you can download the Desktop User Guide for Electronic Grant Applications, which will guide you through each step.


    If you find that you are not eligible for a grant, or if you cannot get one for some other reason you should consider low income government supported loans instead. Although not as favourable as grants these loans are still far better than bank loans and can give you the financial assistance you need to get your property back into good shape.

    You could also look to other charitable of not-for-profit organisations for assistance. Some of these groups wont offer grants or loans but instead may help by providing free or heavily discounted repair and maintenance services. Local churches and citizens welfare groups can also help with places to stay in the meantime and with some additional provision of labor.
    Simrin likes this.
  2. Simrin

    Simrin Newbie

    Great post @admin. Here is some more information on these grants that are really handy. These grants are sums of financial assistance given out by various federal and government as well as non-government bodies to help groups of people whom are in desperate situations and need to repair their home to make it habitable. For low income home improvement grants these sums of money are given to people who can’t afford to repair a critical fault or to otherwise improve the livability of their home so they can make it habitable. If you think you are low income or have another reason why you cannot afford critical home improvements then you should consider applying for a home improvement grant. You never know you might get one.

    You might be surprised to know that there are levels of government and even some non government housing bodies that give some sort of low income home improvement grant to people who meet the criterion. The grants cover any critical repairs to a home that if not delivered would leave the house uninhabitable and unsafe. Anything that compromises the health or safety of a property's occupants can be considered for a grant.

    For your family to be considered for a grant you must be deemed as 'low income'. This means being at or below half of the median average household income for your area, therefore it depends on the area you reside in. You must also fit into one of the following three areas to be eligible for most grants: you must have children under the age of 18 & you must be supported by disability payments from the government; or you must be 62 years or older. Each grant organization may have additional requirements, however. For example, some require you to be located in a rural area in order to receive a grant.

    The main criterion you must fulfill is to be in need of repairs that are considered crucial and critical. 'Crucial' repairs are anything that is necessary to keep the property habitable. Problems such as mold or vermin, water damage, wood rot affecting the integrity of the house, damage to doors, windows and the roof, or plumbing and electrical problems. Any of these and anything else that puts an a family or occupant at risk of death or injury is considered critical and will be covered by a grant.

    There are many places to look however if you are looking for a local grant you should look to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance's website; they keep a list of all of the grants provided to local and state governments and it is really handy as all the information is in one place. For federal grants for home improvements you can go directly to the government grants website which is very user friendly.

    In addition to this you can also go to the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) website to find another lists of available assistance programs. You could also ask in person in your local government assistance branch, where they can direct you to a service that you may be eligible for.

    It is important to be efficient so ever before starting the application process write down the Funding Opportunity Number for the grant you are applying for; be certain you are applying for the right grant. You should also collect all of your financial details, including debt and assets. Make sure you are honest and disclose everything. Finally you should have a quotation done on the repairs you would like to have covered; having a few quotes will ensure that you have tried your best to be competitive. Having everything in one place will make the process much smoother.

    Once you have all of this information collected up you can start the application process online by heading to the government's grants website and creating an account. Once there you can download a PDF file that will guide you through each of the steps you must take in the application process. This PDF is called 'The Desktop User Guide for Electronic Grant Applications'.

    Unfortunately many people are not selected for a grant as they don’t meet all of the eligibility requirements or your repairs may not be considered 'crucial' and critical. Nevertheless there are a few alternatives options for you to get assistance in carrying out repairs if you are in desperate need. Firstly, you could try to apply for government-supported loans form charitable organisation.

    This may work if you are low-income but your repairs are not considered 'crucial'. The main aspect to consider is that a loan is not as good as a grant and it will carry an interest rate of 3% or more but this could be a good option if you can afford the repayments in the long term. Another alternative that you could consider is the help of local initiatives or non-profit organizations. You may be able to get volunteer workers to carry out some repairs without actually needing to get a grant in the first place.
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