Home repair grants may come in many forms, and are available for single-family dwellings, multi-family dwellings, manufactured homes and mobile homes. Federal, state and most local government agencies may provide grants as well as Native American tribes and non-profit organizations. Grants include varying methods of assistance besides home repair grants including free or reduced labor, materials, supplies; payments to service providers and rebates.
Helping to Keep Homes Livable
Although home repair grants are available for many individuals, most go to the disabled, the elderly or those in low-income households. Some grants are designed to repair health and safety hazards such as removal of mold, mildew, asbestos, lead paint and other code violations. Others may cover repairs to plumbing, electrical systems, flooring, roofing and heating and air conditioning. Grants for the disabled are available to convert homes by installing wheelchair ramps, handrails, walk-in showers, wider doors, taller toilets and lower counters and cabinets. Energy efficiency grants provide weather stripping, low-flow faucets, attic insulation and water heater blankets.
Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation
Philadelphia is a city with a large low-income population and numerous grants available to residents.
• Adaptive Modification Programs convert homes to make them livable for disabled individuals.
• Basic Systems Repair Programs fix leaky roofs, repair plumbing and electrical systems and other hazards.
• The Heater Hotline Program provides free emergency heater repairs to help people stay warn in the winter.
• The Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program offers many home repair options to senior citizens.
• Weatherization Programs convert low-income dwellings to make them more energy efficient.
Monroe County New York Community Development
This large New York program provides numerous grants to qualified individuals and families. The Home Improvement Program (HIP) is a one-time grant covering a wide variety of home improvements and repairs including structural repairs to roofs, windows and foundations; repairs to major systems like electrical, heating and plumbing; and revamping for disabled accessibility with ramps, lifts, handrails and wider doorways. The grants may total as much as $10,000, but routine maintenance and cosmetic improvements are not typically covered by grants.
Illinois Housing Development Authority
This state program allocates funds to help low-income residents remain in their homes by paying for a variety of repairs. Typical repair projects include fixing or replacing outdated plumbing and heating systems, dangerous electrical wiring, weathered roofs, worn siding and drafty windows. Most grants are given in the form of forgivable loans of $15,000.00 - $40,000.00 to families whose household income is at or below 80% of the area median income. All repairs must meet state health and safety standards, and families must continue to live in the repaired homes for a period of time or risk having to repay a portion of the otherwise forgivable loan.
Home repair grants differ from state to state, but most are targeted toward households with elderly or disabled individuals, veterans or low-income families with children. The availability of grants and the amounts also depend on funds each state, county or city has allocated for such projects. There are federal grants available as well, and a phone call to a local housing authority is the first step in applying for grants to repair damaged or aging homes.