Low to moderate income families can apply to various Home Repair Programs. The exact terms of each program will vary and they are very limited in scope and availability. Some counties or states may not even offer this resource. Sometimes the assistance will be provided in the form of a grant, and in some cases an applicant will receive a low interest rate deferred loan, which is often part of a Rehabilitation Loan program.
The funding and administration of these programs can come from multiple sources. Federal and state governments will often provide money for the programs, local businesses and individuals may donate funds, and there may also be community fund raisers.
On the other hand, various agencies, charities, and non-profit agencies may provide information, administrate the programs and distribute the funds. The first place you should turn to for more information or to apply is your local community action agency.
While each program will vary and provide different types of assistance, in general what you will find is the following. The homeowner will usually receive a cash grant or loan, and the funds can be used for various emergency home repairs. It will usually pay for roof repairs, window replacements, new furnaces or heating units, or repairs to septic tanks. In addition, home repair programs will usually only provide financial aid once every few years to a homeowner. If a grant is issued it will not require repayment by the homeowner.
Assistance will usually be provided to families or individuals who are living in occupied single-family homes and who’s combined total household annual income does not exceed certain income threshholds. The income limits will vary based upon the state you live in, government funding, the agency you apply to, and the income limits will also change annually.
Some programs will even pay for extensive energy saving updates to the home. While these are not official weatherization programs, you may be able to get funds to pay for a new energy efficient heating unit, a new roof, windows, or even an air conditioner. So not only will the home be safer to live in, but the family can also save money on their utility bills.
Each non-profit agency that administrates the program will use a fully licensed, locally based construction crew. The contractors will visit and inspect your home, and they will often address issues with plumbing, structural defects, electrical systems, furnaces and air conditioners, other heating and cooling units, roofing, windows, and ensure there is access for people with disabilities. The services they provide are extensive, and they will address a multitude of issues.
Many agencies will offer a separate program for senior homeowners. These assistance programs will usually provide minor home repair and maintenance services to seniors who meet certain qualifications. Priority is often given to those home repairs that focus on either the safety or health of the senior citizen. Some of the services offered may include: electrical repairs, wheelchair ramps, plumbing, heating and cooling unit repair/replacement, roof repair and/or replacement and more. The goal of a senior or elderly home repair program is to ensure the nation’s elderly have safe homes to live in. If your state offers this Elderly Home Repair loan, a community action agency or your regional agency on aging office may be your best point of contact.
This differs from the home repair programs mentioned above. The major difference is that the Loan Rehabilitation Program provides low interest, or even zero interest, loans for extensive repair to single-family homes. It is not a grant program, and that is the key difference between them. The loans can even be used in some cases to literally improve an existing home so thoroughly that it brings them up the highest current health and safety standards. Which may then allow the homeowners to sell the homes to someone else, maybe even a First-Time Homebuyer. Unfortunately these loans can’t be used to pay your mortgage.
While once again the exact terms of each loan program will vary by state and county, in general the Rehabilitation Loan Programs were created to provide low cost financing for home improvements to low and moderate income homeowners. When applying, the criteria are usually less restrictive, and loans will often be available for most owner-occupied single family homes. Some of the conditions may include the following
Low and moderate income families, senior citizens, and disabled homeowners across the nation can turn to Home Repair or Loan Rehabilitation type programs in order to ensure they live in a safe and healthy environment. Whether you receive a cash grant or a low interest loan, in either case the end result is a safer living environment for the occupant. These programs are not available in all states and counties. If it is offered in your region the funding will be very limited.
The first place to call may be your local community action agency. They are a great resource to use in order to learn about any loan products that may be available to you. Click here to find a listing of them.
Senior citizens can also try calling an agency on aging office. These non-profit centers oversee a number of programs, some of which may address the safety and repair of your home. Some agencies may even coordinate volunteers from the community or local businesses that can help the elderly with addressing minor home improvements. Click more senior assistance.
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