Housing Grants

Several avenues exist when searching for housing grants. Of course, the federal government, especially Housing and Urban Development (HUD), offer grants that address both short and long-term housing needs. Therefore, to review all federal housing grants, register to receive daily e-mail notifications through Grants.gov. This website is the clearinghouse for all federal funding opportunities, and provides, perhaps, the best method to conduct research into the many and varied housing initiatives.

Federal housing grants are often competitive, i.e., numerous applications are received from qualifying entities. These applications, in turn, are reviewed and scored accordingly with grants awarded by the scoring process. Some federal grants for housing are not competitive, but strict eligibility requirements often preclude certain agencies, and sometimes, individuals from even applying. Therefore, read the Full Announcement to determine who or what is eligible for the federal funding initiative.

A more complete understanding of HUD’s operations is, of course, afforded through its website. HUD clearly states that it awards grants to organizations and groups for a variety of purposes, so be sure to check these purposes as one conducts research. Also, the website lists several key topic areas that should be understood when determining what housing grants are available. These key topic areas include: HUD’s grant office; Funds Available (identifies HUD’s competitive funding opportunities; Funding Announcements (announcements of grants awarded); Highest Scoring Grant Applications; and Training (identifies training webcasts relating to grants). All these areas are critical to understanding the functions of HUD.

States, too, offer housing grants. All have different eligibility requirements. In some states, grants are made available to families. In most cases where states provide funds for housing, such funds are not paid back as with a loan. However, in order to ensure that this is the case, a family must meet all requirements of the grant. Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, South Carolina, Vermont, and most other states have housing grants that generally are administered through a state agency such as a Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Such grants for housing may offer down payment assistance, renovation on existing homes, or provide certain costs associated with the purchase of a home. Once again, read the criteria to determine eligibility. Some state grants are not awarded to individuals or families, but rather to other agencies, particularly non-profits that, in turn, provide funds to qualifying families or individuals.

Housing grants fund numerous housing issues. There are grants for transitional living, homeless shelters, multi-family housing, multi-use housing, housing for the disabled, supportive housing, veterans housing: the list is quite extensive. Therefore, start at the federal and state levels in regard to one’s particular housing needs. And proceed from there; remembering that some counties provide housing grants that fund non-profit organizations or housing agencies.

Certain foundations offer housing grants. Some will fund only qualified organizations or agencies, while others offer funds for low income families or individuals.

Understand the qualifications, restrictions, stipulations, and the limitations of the housing grant to ensure success!

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