Home improvements are a great way to add value to your home while increasing your quality of life, but most of us face one problem: the cost. Fortunately, home improvement grants are available to help reduce the costs or help you afford higher quality materials. Let's take a closer look at what these grants are and how to get them.
What Is a Home Improvement Grant?
A home improvement grant, otherwise known as a home repair grant, is financial assistance supplied by the government at the Federal, State, or Local level that assists homeowners wishing to make specific improvements to their homes. As long as you meet the requirements of the grant, it will never have to be repaid.
There is no guarantee that you or your home improvement project will qualify for this type of grant as your project must be for a specific purpose, such as improving safety, accessibility, or liveability, but it's always worth investigating.
Which Home Improvement Grants Are Available?
Several places offer home improvement grants, including:
- Your local Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office
- The National Residential Improvement Association (NRIA)
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Your local HUD office is the best place to start. They offer grants such as the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which is specifically for low-income homeowners, among others.
The NRIA will be able to offer you potential grants when you provide them with information about your property, the history of your property, and details regarding your home improvement project.
You will also have the option to apply for a USDA Grant if you live in a designated rural area. Their home improvement grant provides up to $7,500 to improve the health, safety, or accessibility of a rural home. The Low Income Housing Repair Loans and Grants have specific eligibility requirements.
Who Qualifies For a Home Improvement Grant?
The requirements vary depending on the grant you hope to receive. Generally, though, grant providers will look at the homeowner's income, the location of the home, and details of the home improvement project.
You will almost certainly need to provide evidence supporting your income, why you need the financial aid, an assessment of your home, and how much your project is likely to cost.
Make sure you check the requirements before applying for a home improvement grant and don't be surprised if you aren't accepted for a grant as this funding can be limited.
Other Options To Covering the Cost of a Home Improvement Project
Suppose you are unable to qualify for a home improvement grant or miss out on funding. In that case, there are other financial options that you can consider to cover the costs of your home improvement project, including loans, refinancing, and equity.
The 203(k) loan offered by the Federal Housing Administration is a popular option for many homeowners. This type of loan allows you to borrow money for home renovation, usually at an affordable rate. The HUD and the USDA also offer loans at a relatively low cost if you meet their income and location requirements.
If you have lived in your home long enough to build up a fair amount of equity, you should be able to apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a home equity loan, or cash-out refinancing. Just ensure that you do your due diligence into each lender to ensure that you are getting the best deal.
If you are looking to make eco-friendly or green home improvements, you may be eligible for a green energy grant or an appropriate tax credit. Look to EnergyStar.gov, energy commissions, or local energy companies to determine if you qualify for either of these. Check out our previous post for more information about Green Energy Grants and Tax Credits.
Looking for the right home improvement grants can be time-consuming, but it's well worth doing if you believe you may qualify. There is free grant money that could be waiting for you to help you realize your home improvements in many cases. Spend some time reading through the requirements and apply if you believe you qualify before looking to alternative financing methods, such as borrowing.