Need Repairs to Your Home? There May Be Grants Available

Throughout the time you have lived in your home, you have likely found that you are needing to make little repairs or even big ones. Whether this is a minor problem you have let go of for too long, or just regular wear and tear, your house is likely due for some repairs or upgrades. Unfortunately, home repairs can be expensive.

Lower-income families will be especially impacted, as they are usually unable to afford to make the repairs before they become a big problem. Even worse, you may lose money if and when you decide to sell the home.

Fortunately, there is help available. Keep reading to find out about federal grants that can help you afford your home repairs.

Housing and Urban Development Home Improvement Loans and Grant

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a wide variety of home improvement programs to eligible applicants. Most of these are low-interest loans, though they also have other programs. The most common loan available to applicants is the standard rehabilitation and repair loan ( Section 203(k) ) which issues a mortgage that covers the purchase, refinancing, and rehabilitation of a home over one-year-old. Additionally, the property must also fall within the standard values for a conventional loan. The borrower is required to spend at least $5,000 on repairs, which can be used for various improvements such as enhancing accessibility, roof replacement, major landscape work, and weatherproofing.

If you don’t want to take out a second mortgage or refinance your home, you may be eligible for a Title I loan. This loan can be used to make “useful” improvements. These can include adding built-in appliances, accessibility improvements, or installing solar energy systems. This loan cannot be used for luxury items but can be used for building nonresidential structures such as sheds. You can receive up to $25,000 for repairs with this loan.

Disaster Home Assistance

If your home received damage during a natural disaster, you can apply for assistance from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

FEMA offers grants through the Individual and Household Program, which are designed to help pay for temporary housing and repair and replace your home if it was damaged during a disaster. You can apply for assistance through your state program, but remember this program is only available to make home repairs after a severe disaster has damaged your home.

Section 504

The Section 504 Home Repair program offers loans to eligible low-income homeowners and grants to elderly homeowners to help them fix specific health and safety hazards and improve accessibility. This program is only offered in certain areas.

Weatherization Assistance Program

Over time homes can become susceptible to weather, driving up energy bills and making it difficult to keep up with them. If you or a loved one struggles to make your energy bill payments, you can apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). This federally funded program is designed primarily to support households with children, elderly, or disabled members.

After an approved energy audit, grants are available to hire approved contractors to perform a whole-house weatherization project. This includes repairing and replacing cooling and heating systems, upgrading or adding insulation, or even replacing appliances with newer, more energy-efficient models. WAP aims to help households reduce their energy usage and save them money.

There are a wide variety of federal programs other than these which are aimed to help low-income households pay for home repairs or useful upgrades, including accessibility upgrades. If you or a loved one are struggling to make home repairs, or afford other necessary upgrades, then reach out to your local or state offices to learn more about the support programs available to you.