What is a Home Repair Grant?
Home repair grants are a way for people to pay for home repairs that may otherwise remain unfixed. Home repair grants can bring electric wiring up to code, repair or replace septic systems, and add energy saving features such as insulation and storm windows.
Home repair grants are available from a variety of sources, with differing qualifications. The common denominator is, of course, ownership of the home. Proof of income, work completed by a licensed contractor, and a limit to the dollar amount of the work are all considerations that must be made when finding the appropriate grant.
Home repair grants, as a rule, are for repairs necessary for safe habitation of the home or to make the home more energy efficient. Home repair grants will typically not cover painting, home additions, or landscaping.
Who Provides Home Repair Grants?
Home repair grants can come from a variety of sources. The federal government, through the United States Department of Agriculture, is one provider of home repair grants. Many states and communities also provide home repair grants. While it may seem impossible to find these grants, don’t be discouraged.
One way to find local recommendations for home repair grants is to contact your local bank or other lending institution. Familiar with home repair issues, most lending institution can point you in the direction of an appropriate granting agency.
If your housing situation needs immediate help, you should contact your local municipality. Many communities offer emergency grants for immediate needs, such as a broken furnace or water problem.
Who Can Qualify for a Home Repair Grant?
Home repair grants are typically aimed at those people that would not qualify for a traditional home equity line of credit or personal loan. Whether due to age, income, or credit history, home repair grants can close the gap between a traditional home improvement loan and allowing a home to fall into a state of uninhabitable disrepair.
If, after researching your options, you find that you do not qualify for a home repair grant, there are other choices available. The same agencies that provide home repair grants many times will also offer low interest loans. While there are still stipulations on the types of home repairs that can be implemented with this money, the qualifying process is typically less rigorous than for a line of home equity credit from a lending institution.
Will My Home Repair Be Covered By A Home Repair Grant?
Home repair grants cover a variety of home improvement projects. Typically projects that are funded by the federal government have stringent guidelines for approval. Generally speaking a home that has safety concerns, such as outdated electrical wiring or an old porch that makes entering and exiting the house potentially dangerous would be considered for a home repair grant. A federal grant may also pay for adding insulation, repairing or replacing windows and doors, or doing other types of work to make the home more energy efficient. A federal grant will not pay for a kitchen remodel, adding closets or storage space, or other project that could be considered cosmetic. In addition, a federal grant will not pay for repairs on a home that will remain questionably habitable even after repairs.
State and community level grants have different qualifying standards, and vary greatly. While some grants will mirror closely the directives of the federal programs, other grant programs are for a particular purpose. Some programs are aimed at making homes more energy efficient, more attractive, or preserving original structures. These programs, while still maintaining tough standards for qualifications, can be an excellent way to obtain money if your project lines up with their purpose.
Other state and local grant programs are geared toward particular recipients, whether they are first time homeowners, the elderly or other groups within the population. If you qualify for one of these grants, you may find fewer restrictions on the type of home improvements that you may make. As with any grant program, it is important to make sure that your plans match up with the plans of the grant making organization before you begin the remodeling process.
While it may seem that applying for and accepting grant money limits the options available to homeowners, the reality is very different. Home repair grants are a way for people that would not normally be able to make improvements to their homes to do so. In addition to making their homes a safer and more comfortable place to live, they also increase their property values as well as the value of the neighborhood.