Do You Qualify For Home Repair Grants?
By: Ezra Plank
If there is a repair job that must be taken care of for your home, but you don't have the funds to get the work done, home repair grants may be the answer. But don't hold your breath - they're not easy to get, and, as is usual when the federal government is involved, there is a lot of paperwork and red tape.
In some cases, you may not qualify for a grant, but a loan may be available instead. Of course in that case you will have to repay the money to the lender. In either case, there are strict requirements, and if they're not met, no money will be loaned or granted.
Government home repair grants and loans are available through Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In order to qualify, you must either be a US citizen or have a green card. You cannot be less than 62 years old, and your income must be less than half the average for your county. And you must also own ( or have a long-term lease ) and occupy the house you want to repair.
You must demonstrate the ability and willingness to repay a loan. But if you are 62 or older and can't repay a loan, you may qualify for a grant instead.
The maximum amount that can be loaned at any one time is $20,000, but you can borrow more at any time up to that limit. Grants are limited to a total of $7,500 for life.
Of course there are restrictions on what the money may be used for. You can't use it to pay off previous debts, or to make improvements to any other structure.
Repair grants must be used either to remove health / safety hazards or to make the property accessible to household members with disabilities. Loans may be used to remove hazards, and can also be used to make other improvements to the property.
Examples of acceptable uses for the money are roof repairs, heating or insulation maintenance / repair, and repair of gas or electrical fixtures. There are no restructions on who must do the work, so do it yourself home repair is fine, or hire a home repair contractor if the work is hazardous or exceeds your capability.
If you think you would like to apply for a government grant, or even if you just want to see more details about the government program, download the free PDF ebook, CHAPTER 12: SECTION 504 LOANS AND GRANTS.