There are only a few government programs that actually provide funding for home improvement. In fact, overall government assistance for home repair is pretty low. The money the government does offer comes through two programs, a community development block grant issued by the HUD and a rural repair loan and grant program issued by the USDA. Usually, this source of funding is available only to those with low-income and that funding is usually provided in cases where housing has become unsafe for its residents to live in. So if you’re looking to add a sun room or modernize your kitchen, you probably aren’t going to qualify for a government grant for home repair.
You are more likely to find help fixing up your home through support from a local non-profit organization than you are to receive government funding. Here some additional support is available for veterans and military families as well as to traditionally supported low-income families, disabled and seniors. But again, most of these home repair programs exist to help residents stay in their houses by fixing severe safety issues like repairing a roof or replacing faulty electrical work.
Community Development Block Grant Program
Through this program, the federal government issues community development grant funds to states, but the way the money is employed in each state can be very different. The purpose of the overall program is to provide affordable housing opportunity, but some states may use some of this funding to perform home improvement programs. The program also offers funding for disaster recovery assistance. So if your home was damaged in any declared natural disaster, you may receive help to repair your storm damage through this program. To find out if a home improvement program is available in your particular state, visit the CDBG contacts page on the HUD website. Click on your state on the national map to search for the office that handles your city or county entitlement area. If you do not see that listed, contact the overall state program to inquire about home improvement offered through CDBG.
Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants
This USDA program provides loans and grants to very low-income homeowners to repair their houses and deal with health and safety concerns. It does actually provide grants for home repair, but only for homeowners 62 years old or older who lack the ability to repay a loan. For most, it offers home repair loans for up to $20,000 and these can be repaid over 20 years at 1% interest. For those that qualify for grants, it offers $7,500. But this money can only be used to remove health and safety hazards. And if for any reason you sell your house within 3 years of receiving the grant, the funds must be repaid. Those few that are eligible for both the loan and grant can receive up to $27,500 in total assistance through the program. To check your eligibility for the program, visit the USDA’s eligibility site. To find the local rural development office that handles this program in your area, visit the service center locator and use the map to find the program contacts in your state and county.
Habitat for Humanity
Most are familiar with the fact that Habitat for Humanity builds homes for low-income families, but it also does home repair. Since it was founded in 1976, its built or repaired over 600,000 homes providing help to over 3 million residents worldwide. To find your local Habitat for Humanity group working in your area, visit the where we build page on the program website and search by zip code or state.
If it is unlikely that you would be selected to receive help from Habitat due to earning too much money, you might still be able to lower the cost of your planned home repair project through help from the organization. Habitat runs around 825 Habitat for Humanity ReStores around the United States. These budget retail locations offer home improvement supplies, tools, appliances and furniture through community donations to raise money for local projects. Because supplies are donated they are offered at highly reduced prices, allowing you to save money on your own home repair and provide assistance to those who are less fortunate. Visit the Habitat ReStore listing to find a store in your area.
Home Depot Community Impact Grants
Home Depot offers $5,000 grants to non-profit organizations that undertake home improvement projects for low-income families. It has a particular focus of helping veterans and military families and supporting community projects that improve military communities and facilities. This program does not issue grants to homeowners directly and the assistance you can receive through this program must come through a local charity or non-profit group. But if you are already in contact with an organization that would help with your home repair project if it had the funding, having the local group apply for a grant with Home Depot could make your project possible. Grant funding is issued through Home Depot gift cards and can be used to purchase tools, materials and services needed for the home improvement project.
This national organization was founded with the belief that everyone deserves a safe place to call home. It brings volunteers and communities together to provide home improvement for low-income homeowners. Funding is available to make critical housing repairs, to modify homes for the disabled and to upgrade energy efficiency. It undertakes around 10,000 projects nationwide each year. To find a local program, visit the Rebuilding Together affiliates page. If you do not find a local affiliate, please contact the national office in Washington, DC.