Home Grants

A full spectrum of home grants is available through various federal, state, local agencies, and non profit organizations. These grants can assist a first-time home buyer, prevent foreclosure, remove asbestos and lead contaminants, and a host of other home needs. Some home grants are more restrictive than others. Individuals seeking such home grants must meet certain requirements, not least of which is financial so when conducting research, eligibility is an overriding factor in acquiring such home grants.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers several grant opportunities. However, many of these grants are not available to individuals. Rather, they are awarded to qualified non-profits.

The United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development, administers home grants that provide homeownership to low and moderate-income rural Americans, as well as providing grants to individuals to receive assistance for vital home improvements necessary to make a house decent, safe and sanitary. The Technical and Supervisory Assistance Grants assists low-income rural families obtain adequate housing to meet their family’s needs and/or to provide the necessary guidance to promote their continued occupancy of already adequate housing. The USDA provides government funds to tax-exempt public agencies and private non-profits, too.

The Department of Veterans Affairs administers home grants for veterans. Many of these grants ensure that disabled veterans can retrofit their homes to accommodate for their disabilities, and there are several different grant programs offered. To qualify for Specially Adapted Housing Grants, the veteran must be classified as severely disabled: loss of lower extremities, blinded in both eyes, severe burns, or loss the use or actually loss of their upper extremities. The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Program allows veterans to make improvements to their homes to perform basic skills. Funds are allocated to improve driveways and entryways, windows, air-conditioning units, sinks, toilets, and ramps. There are restrictions, though. Improvements cannot exceed $1,400 for those who received wounds during active duty or $1,200 for those who became disabled outside of active service.

States, too, provide home grants. As with many of the federal grants, however, individuals often do not qualify for such state funded grants. In California, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), awards some 20 loans and grants for the construction, rehabilitation, acquisition and preservation of affordable rental housing and home ownership. These funds are allocated to other entities: non-profits, local public agencies, and for profit housing developers. These agencies, in turn, provide funds to individuals “end users.”

Home grants are a complicated matter. While such grants for individuals are available, particularly for veterans, single mothers, the disabled, elderly, vulnerable adults, and low-to-moderate income families, accessing such information is difficult. Where to start, then? The way to answer the question is to ask another: What is it that is needed? Answer the question correctly, and start from that basic information. Just remember: availability of home grants depends on many factors including financial need, geographic location (rural vs. suburban vs. urban), and what agency oversees the funds.

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