Are you considering a home improvement project but are running short of funds? Whatever you do, don’t be taken in by those online advertisers who claim that they can get you thousands of dollars of government grant money for your home improvement or renovation project. Chances are, they are looking for money themselves and are hoping that you will pay for the information that they promise to provide you.
The truth is, the Federal Government does not directly award money to individual homeowners in order to do home improvements. They do, however, fund a number of programs that enable homeowners to get the money that they need for home renovations more affordable than they would be able to otherwise.
USDA Rural Development Program
The USDA offers either loans, grants or both to very low income homeowners, which can be used for repairs or improvements. This program varies widely from State to State, but if you meet the following requirements:
- Be the homeowner and occupy the house
- Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
- Have a family income below 50 percent of the area median income
- For grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan
For 2020, you can apply for as much as:
- $20,000 Loan
- $7,500 Grant
- Loans and grants can be combined for up to $27,500 in assistance
For details in your area, go to USDA Loans and Grants and pick your State in the dropdown.
The HUD 203(k) is a loan program put in place by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that allows for the rehabilitation and repair of single family homes. Again, this is not designed as a program for lending directly to the home owner. Instead, it is a program that gives communities the money to be able to help home owners in the repairs and renovations that may be needed to bolster a particular area of the community.
How it works is that individual home owners go to lenders in the local community and ask for help, which is provided through this program. While the full cost of repairs is not given, it can significantly reduce the amount of money a home owner needs to put out in order to get the repairs that are needed. Keep in mind however, that this program is usually only available to those who live in specific areas of a community that are looking to be revitalized. HUD 203(k)
Another way to get the money you need for home renovations is another government program that funds what is known as the Reverse Mortgage.
A reverse mortgage is a program available for home owners aged 62 or older who have considerable collateral built up in their home. What this program does is to enable the home owner to tap into this collateral without having to sell their home. The chosen lender will provide them with the amount agreed upon either in one lump sum or in monthly or weekly payments. This money can be used for whatever is needed by the home owner, including necessary home repairs, improvements or renovations. The money does not have to be paid back in the lifetime of the home owner, and the amount does not come due until either the home owner dies or until they move out of the house, at which time the house can be sold and the amount of the loan paid back to the lender.
Home improvements can be expensive, but with the governments programs and financial banking, it is now easier for home owners to make the repairs and renovations that they feel are necessary without breaking the bank.
For more information on HUD’s programs, please visit: HUD’s Home Improvements Federal Loan Programs