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Homeowners Repair Grants and Loans

John Fedro
2 min read

Repair grants make it helpful for many Americans to make safety renovations and code compliance improvements to their homesteads.  The federal government along with many local state and county agencies all have operating loan and grant programs available for home owners in need of making some cosmetic or structural repairs to their dwellings.  Like all good things there are however some catches needed to qualify.

Check with your local Department of Neighborhood or Community Services Department of your city to learn more about any specific grant and loan programs that may be available to you.  Some government loan programs provide for up to $40,000 in a “forgivable” loan to qualified homeowners.  King County in Washington State offers up to a $5,000 grant for mobile home owners who need to make “quality of life” repairs to their mobile homes located inside of rented trailer communities.  Residents living in Riverside, California may apply for a $6,000 grant to pay for a new roof, HVAC, and make plumbing repairs.

The Department of Agriculture program number 10.417, Very Low-Income Housing Repair Loans and Grants are intended to help very-low income owners-occupants in rural areas repair their homes. Grant monies may be used to pay for the costs for repairs and improvements that will remove health and safety hazards or add disability required features (I.e. wheelchair ramps).  Money given in the form of a loan may be used to make general repairs and improvements to homes or remove health hazards.

Many of the grants and low interest loans available for qualified homeowners have the same basic restrictions:

Income Requirements: Grant and Loan amounts will vary in direct relation to household income levels at the time of application.  These income caps vary per program however in most cases the lower the income level per household the more money an applicant may be approved.  A typical rule of thumb for qualified low-income applicants is less than 50% of your state or county’s median income.

Location Requirements: Qualified applicants must be legal US citizens.  If working through a local county agency the home needing repairs must be located within this county’s jurisdiction.

Ownership Requirements:  Primary homes which are owner-occupied are the easiest homes to be approved for government repair grants.  Second homes and vacation homes typically will not apply as these repair Funds are designated for homeowners with little to no assets, savings, and income; providing proof that an applicant owns a second home will typically disqualify that applicant immediately.  Check with your local government agencies for any specific circumstances.

Loan Repayment Requirements: Loans bear an interest rate of 1% and are repaid over a period up to 20 years.  Qualified applicant must show proof that they have the ability to repay the low interest loan given.

Age Requirements:   All homeowners are welcome to apply.  All ages are encouraged to take advantage of these free government loan programs.   Borrowers over 62 years of age may qualify for grant monies instead of repayment of a loan.

To learn more about your local and state loan/grant programs click here to be taken to your state and county’s correct government agencies.

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.