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.