A home owner grant offers relief to homeowners who are struggling to afford household expenses or make necessary improvements or repairs to their homes. Depending on the type of assistance you need, you may be able to find a wealth of grant opportunities.
Many grants require homeowners to meet income limits. This is because most programs are designed to assist those facing financial hardships. Each grant program has its own set of requirements that must be met before candidates can receive financial assistance. Therefore, it is essential that you review the program-specific eligibility guidelines before submitting an application for assistance.
By learning how to find grants in your local community and the importance of reviewing federal grant programs, you will have a greater variety of assistance programs you can apply for. In addition to home owner grants, you may be able to find a loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that can provide you with additional assistance.
What is a home owner grant?
A home owner grant refers to free financial assistance that is provided to homeowners. In certain instances, these benefits can also be awarded to soon-to-be homeowners. Each grant program has its own eligibility requirements that a household must meet to receive aid.
A new home owners grant can also refer to grant programs that only apply to prospective homeowners or homeowners that have recently moved into their new homes. Therefore, it is important that you review the difference in grant programs when applying for financial assistance.
Does a home owners grant need to be repaid?
Home owner grants do not generally need to be repaid. However, if grant funds are misused or if an applicant fails to meet outlined continued eligibility requirements, some or all of the funds the individual received may need to be repaid.
One example of this is the Section 504 Home Repair program. This program provides up to $7,500 in financial assistance to qualifying applicants for certain repair and improvement projects. However, should an applicant sell his or her home within three years of receiving a grant, the grant recipient must repay the full amount he or she received.
How to Claim Your Home Owner Grant Through the National Residential Improvement Association
A great way to find existing and new home owners grants is by contacting the National Residential Improvement Association (NRIA). The NRIA offers support to qualifying applicants who are seeking aid to help them afford the costs of homeowner expenses. Specifically, benefits can be used towards remodeling, repairs and other home improvements.
The NRIA provides this information to applicants as a free service, so you will not need to pay anything to get more information about the grant programs in your local area. In addition to learning more about local grant programs, you may receive details on programs for:
- Tax credits that your purchase, repairs or improvements may qualify for.
- Rebate programs.
- Government backed and low-interest loans.
- Remodeling, repair or renovation grants.
The NRIA can outline grant programs that you may qualify for, as well as provide you with further information on eligibility requirements. If you are ready to apply for these programs, agents can also tell you how to submit your application.
Check For Home Owner Grants Offered in Your Local Community
One of the best ways to claim your home owner grants that you qualify for is by contacting your local government agencies. Doing so can help you learn more about programs offered within your local area, including those provided by:
- Nonprofit or charitable organizations.
- Church communities.
- Revitalization projects.
- City or county officials.
Always Explore Opportunities for Federal Home Owner Grants
In addition to exploring home owner grant opportunities within your local area, be sure to familiarize yourself with federal grant programs. In doing so, you can broaden your grant-based opportunities and learn about the programs you may qualify for.
Furthermore, keep in mind that these federal grants are usually offered through local offices. This means you will need to speak with representatives in your area to learn about available benefits.
LIHEAP Heating, Cooling and Weatherization Grants
You may be eligible to claim your home owner grant through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) each year while funding is available. The LIHEAP program strives to assist low- and moderate-income households with the costs of heating, cooling and approved weatherization projects.
LIHEAP provides several different types of grants. These grants vary in amount based upon the state program, a household’s income and the household’s needs. Heating and energy grants are often applied directly to utility bills. LIHEAP also provides aid for emergency assistance to avoid a utility shutoff.
Keep in mind that LIHEAP can only provide assistance to eligible families while funding is available. However, after program funds have been depleted, the organization may be able to refer you to other assistance programs that could assist you.
VA Grants for Veterans with a Service-Connected Disability
You can find home owner grants through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you are a veteran with a total and permanent service-connected disability. The VA currently offers there separate grant programs:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant.
- Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant.
- Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant.
Each grant program has a lifetime limit on the amount of benefits one applicant can receive. These grant programs can be used to purchase, build or renovate a home that will accommodate a disabled veteran’s disability. As a result, this allows veterans to live more independently.
You can learn more about VA grant programs and submit an application by contacting your local VA office.
Home Owner Grants for Very-Low-Income Senior Citizens
You may be able to claim your home owner grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 504 Home Repair program if you meet specific eligibility requirements. This program provides very-low-income senior citizens with a maximum of $7,500. Recipients can use these grants to fund a home improvement or repair that will:
- Accommodate a disability by making the home more disability-accessible.
- Remove a safety or health hazard from the home.
While this is an income-based program, the income limits for Section 504 vary between counties and metropolitan areas. This variation is due to the fact that limits are based upon the median income for an area.
To qualify for this home owner grant, you must be:
- At least 62 years old.
- Incapable of affording the repayment on a loan.
- Unable to find affordable financing through another source.
- The homeowner of the home and currently occupying the home.
- Able to meet income guidelines.
You can apply for the Section 504 Home Repair program by contacting your local USDA Rural Development (RD) office.