Housing Low Income Grants

Grants are available for individuals and organizations that provide housing and supports to low-income individuals.  Low income housing grants are typically funded through the federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Grants are awarded primarily to nonprofit housing organizations and quasi-governmental organizations that provide housing services.  These include public housing agencies and other residential programs. Continue reading

House Grant

There are several types of housing grants offered by government entities. At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for housing grant programs.  Housing government grants are awarded for major initiatives that include the construction of low and medium income housing, support services for the country’s public housing agencies, and rent subsidies provided directly to organizations that provide housing to eligible participants.

Rental subsidy can be either project based or person specific.  For project based rental subsidy, the subsidy is tied to the property.  Renters must be determined eligible based on factors including income to live in the subsidized unit.  If the subsidy is person based, the individual has been determined to be income and otherwise eligible for a rental subsidy.  The individual is permitted to live anywhere as long as the prospective landlord is willing to accept the rental subsidy.

Another resource for housing government grants is the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.  These funds are allocated directly to states.  Each state has its own separate process for using the funds.  Most re-allocate a portion to eligible cities and municipalities.  Even counties may administer their own CDBG program.

CDBG funds can be used for renovations of low income housing or making handicap accessibility modifications to housing for individuals with disabilities.  Some CDBG funds may also be used to make homes energy efficient. Weatherization projects are often funded by the CDBG program. These grants for housing are typically for homeowners who reside in the residence rather than for rental properties.  While the federal CDBG program has strict eligibility guidelines, each local CDBG program has additional eligibility requirements.

Housing government grants can also be used to build housing specific for individuals with disabilities or senior citizens.  These programs, administered through HUD, include a House Grant component for capital costs such as renovation or construction of appropriate facilities.  Included in the cost is approval for an on-site manager to help coordinate services and supports for residents of the facilities. In addition, each unit in the facility receives a rental subsidy.  These are long-term projects funded by the government.

Foundations may provide grants for activities that help the individuals living in House Grant -funded housing.  They are likely to be more interested in funding self-sufficiency or workforce skills development projects than providing capital grants for housing for the actual construction or renovation of buildings.  Although they recognize the need for bricks and mortar, their missions tend to direct their focus toward people rather than structures.

Home Grants

It is expensive to maintain a home.  Whether you reside in it yourself or you rent it out, the upkeep can be costly.  Grants for home repair and maintenance can help you keep your property value as high as possible by providing financial assistance for upgrades.

Your city’s department of development can provide information on available home grants.  One source of grant funds that homeowners are eligible for is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).  This program allows cities to set aside a portion of their CDBG allocation for homeowners to make repairs and upgrades to their home.  These upgrades may be related to weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements.

Home grants are generally available to first time home buyer owners who meet income eligibility guidelines.  Some grant programs require the homeowner to actually reside in the home to be eligible for funds.  Others allow the funds to be used for properties with renters if the renters meet additional eligibility criteria.  This can include years of rental, annual income, or disabling conditions.

Grants for home modifications are also available if there is an individual with a disability living in the home.  These grants are available through local nonprofit disability organizations who offer assistance to the public.  They receive funds from foundations who expect the nonprofit to use their expertise to award grants to local residents who need accessibility modifications made to home to continue to live independently.  Modifications include installing wheelchair ramps, widening doorways, and installing rails in hallways and the bathroom to prevent falls.  If the individual who needs these modifications is a renter rather than a homeowner, temporary modifications can be made with the homeowner’s permission.

Individuals can also apply directly to foundations who provide grants for home modifications the allow residents to remain independent.  These foundations provide grants directly to individuals and require the individual to have a medical or disability condition to be eligible for financial assistance. Individuals who apply for these home grants should be prepared to provide a letter from their doctor briefly describing their situation without being invasive.  The foundation will not require medical records but they need documentation to verify the need for modifications.

There are several ways for first time home buyer to get grants for home repairs and modifications. Home grants do not have to be paid back as long as you use the money as indicated in your grant request.  Individuals who receive home grants may have to get prior approval from the grantor before making expenditures.  Funders may want to approve contractors or costs associated with repairs and modifications.