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.
Grants for low income housing are used for development costs including architectural design as well as construction costs. Other grant funds are available to subsidize the cost of rent for low income individuals and families. Eligible residents are required to pay a portion of their earned income toward housing costs such as rent and utilities. The remaining rental costs are subsidized through low income housing grants. These grants can be used for specific populations such as individuals with disabilities, veterans, and senior citizens. They provide needed financial assistance to individuals and families on fixed incomes.
HUD provides additional support to states and cities through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which can be used for renovations and upgrades of low income housing and properties. Individuals and nonprofit organizations can apply for these funds by contacting participating local government agencies. Each community establishes areas of priority funding within their CDBG program. As long as you meet one of the priority categories, you may be able to apply for a grant.
Additionally, many local foundations will provide capital grants to local housing organizations that build housing for low income individuals and families. Grants are typically a component of a larger capital campaign managed by the organization that includes individual donations and other fundraising activities. Foundations will only fund a small portion of these types of housing development activities.
Foundations may offer grants for low income housing residents to develop community-based programs focused on workforce development and other self-sufficiency activities. The intent is to help low income individuals and families to develop skills needed to improve their lives. These support grants are a natural supplement to other grants for low income housing projects.
Grants for low income housing can also be used to develop and maintain homeless shelters. When individuals or families are evicted from low income housing, many become homeless. They turn to shelters for assistance and protection. As an intervening step, states and cities may provide grants for eviction prevention programs that focus on helping low income individuals and families pay their rent on time. Funded activities may include financial budgeting workshops, collections, and referrals to community support organizations.