Government and Non Profit Organization Financial Assistance for People In Need of Home Improvements
Grants are sums of money given out by various government and non-government bodies to assist specific groups of people whom are in desperate situations. In the case of low income home improvement grants these sums of money are given to people who don’t have enough money to repair a critical fault or to otherwise improve the livability of their dwellings up to minimum standards. If you are considered low income or have another reason why you cannot afford crucial repairs then you should consider applying for a home improvement grant.
What is Available to Low Income People in Need of Home Improvements?
All levels of government and even some non government housing bodies offer some some sort of low income home improvement grant to people who meet the requirements. These grants cover any crucial repair to a dwelling that if not delivered would leave the house un inhabitable. Anything that compromises the health or safety of a property’s occupants can be considered for a grant.
What are the Eligibility Requirements?
Firstly, you must be considered as ‘low income’ in order to be considered for a low income home improvement grant. This entails being at or below half of the median household income for your area. You must also fall into one of the following three categories to qualify for most grants: you must have children under the age of 18, you must be supported by disability payments, or you must be 62 years or older. Each grant organization may have additional requirements, however. For example, some require you to be located in a rural area in order to receive a grant.
Above all other requirements you must also be in need of repairs that are considered crucial. ‘Crucial’ repairs are anything that is necessary to keep the property habitable. Common ones include mould or vermin, water damage, wood rot affecting the integrity of the house, damage to doors, windows and the roof, or plumbing and electrical problems. Any of these and anything else that puts an occupant as risk of death or injury is considered crucial and will be covered by a grant (provided you can also meet the other requirements).
Where to Look
If you are looking for a local grant you should look to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance’s website as they keep a list of all of the grants provided to local and state governments. For federal grants you can go directly to the government grants website. In addition to this you can also go to the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) website to find another lists of available assistance programs. You could also ask in person in your local government assistance branch, where they can direct you to a service that you may be eligible for.
What is the Application Process?
Before starting the application process write down the Funding Opportunity Number for the grant you are applying for. You should also collect all of your financial details, including debt and assets. Finally you should have a quotation done on the repairs you would like to have covered. Having everything in one place will make the process much smoother.
Once you have all of this information collected up you can start the application process online by heading to the government’s grants website and creating an account. Once their you can download a PDF file that will guide you through each of the steps you must take in the application process. This PDF is called ‘The Desktop User Guide for Electronic Grant Applications’.
What if You Can’t Get a Grant?
Sometimes you may not meet all of the eligibility requirements or your repairs may not be considered ‘crucial’. Nonetheless there are a few alternatives options for you to get assistance in carrying out repairs. Firstly, you could try to apply for government-supported loans. This may work if you are low-income but your repairs are not considered ‘crucial’. A loan is not as good as a grant and it will carry an interest rate of 3% or more but this could be a good option if you can afford the repayments in the long term. Secondly, you could seek out the help of local initiatives or non-profit organizations. You may be able to get volunteer workers to carry out some repairs without actually needing to get a grant in the first place.