Grants for Homeowners in California

How can I get a home improvement grant in California?

Every year, the United States of America provides economic aid out of the general federal revenue. There are over 900 grant programs divided in over 20 categories offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies. Determining whether you are eligible to apply for and receive a federal grant is very important, so make sure you are properly informed about all available options.

Section 504 Home Repair Program, also known as the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants is a great way to improve the quality of your home without giving the money back or paying an interest fee. This program provides financial aid to low income homeowners for the purpose of necessary repair works, improving or modernizing homes or removing health and safety hazards. It is initiated by The USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture), and focuses on low-income households living in areas with populations of less than $35,000.00. The grants have a limit of $7,500.00 and must be repaid in full in case the property is sold within three years.

To qualify for a loan or grant, you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Being a homeowner and occupant of the house;
  • Having a family income that is under 50 % of the area income;
  • Being unfit to affordable credit;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • For grants, you must meet all the criteria above plus be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan.

The maximum amount of a grant is $20,000.00 and of a grant is $7,500.00 You can apply for a combination for up to $27,500.00. The maximum loan length is 20 years and the interest fee is 1%. If you are eligible in this program, start by contacting the USDA home loan specialist in your area. https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/national-office/customer-service-center.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program also provides aid to low income and moderate income families. It can be used for a lot of reasons, including rehabilitation, rental housing acquisition or homeownership assistance, as well as activities that support new housing construction. These funds are available in California communities that do not receive CDBG funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

If your property is in Chino Hills and you are in need of aid to sell, keep or improve your home, there are some options available. The Home Improvement Grant Program or HIGP, a program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is another way the government can help you out if you can’t afford your home improvement projects. There is a maximum grant award of $5,000.00 per property and you can use it “one time only” per household per address.. You can use this grant for different types of repairs and replacements including heating and ventilation, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, window and door replacements, handicap accessibility renovations, roof replacements and repairs, driveway repairs, stair repairs, etc. All of the repairs must be performed by a contractor with a current City of Chino Hills business license and a valid Worker’s Compensation and Liability Insurance.

To qualify for a grant, you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Your gross annual income may not exceed 80% of the San Bernardino County median income,
  • You must own and occupy the single-family residence for at least one year,
  • Your property must be within the City of Chino Hills,
  • All property taxes and assessments must be current and the property must not have any recorded property or income tax liens.

To apply for this grant, you can visit their website and fill out an application https://www.chinohills.org/827/Home-Improvement-Grant.

If you live in Los Angeles and you need aid in the form of grant and loan, there are some options available. The Handyworker Grant Program aims to preserve the existing homes by funding minor home repairs to ensure the health and safety of eligible low- and moderate-income homeowners within the unincorporated areas of the First, Fourth and Fifth Supervisorial Districts. The maximum amount allowable under the Handyworker Grant Program is $5,000.00. This program is intended to provide help to  the elderly (62 years or older), handicapped, permanently disabled, single head of household, or large families (5+ people) who occupy and have a vested interest in a single-family, residential property requiring repairs that are health and safety related.You can use this grant for different  home improvement projects such as minor plumbing repairs, water heater blankets, replacement or repair of exterior screens, installation of smoke alarms, and garbage disposals.

To qualify for a grant, you also must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • The property must be owner-occupied,
  • The property must be in the unincorporated areas of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Supervisorial District,
  • The applicant/homeowner must be low-income and must meet the maximum total household income per program guidelines,
  • The applicant/homeowner must have ownership interest in the property for a minimum of 12 months prior to the date of the grant application.

If you are interested in this grant you can call 626-586-1814  or email [email protected] (1st District Project Manager), 626-586-1817 or email  [email protected] (4th District Project Manager) and 626-586-1828 or email Cindy.Tei[email protected] (5th District Project Manager).

You can also contact these agencies if you are interested in the Single-Family Home Improvement Program or SFHIP. SFHIP is designed to help low-income qualified owners (earning 80% of the County median income or less) for single-family units.The SFHIP deferred loan offers up to $25,000.00 for repairs at 0% interest and deferred payment. The deferred loan is due and payable upon sale, transfer of title, or in certain circumstances, the refinancing of a loan in superior position to that of the LACDA. The SFHIP loan may include repairs such as, but not limited to electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling system, roofing, exterior paint, and mitigation of code violation.

Mobile home owners in Los Angeles can apply for the Mobile Home Improvement Grant Program and get up to $9,000.00. These funds can be used in different kinds of repairs, including exterior stairs, exterior screens, handrails, minor plumbing repairs, minor electrical repairs, flooring etc. For more information you can call (626) 586-1853.

 

How can I get a solar grant in California?

The most important federal policy mechanism that supports the growth of solar energy is the Solar Investment Tax Credit or ITC. This mechanism was enacted in 2006 and has helped the U.S. solar industry grow by more than 10,000% percent. You can use this credit after you have a solar system installed on your home. The amount you will receive depends on the year of the construction. It can be 26 percent for projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022, 22 percent for projects that begin construction in 2023 and after 2023, the residential credit drops to zero while the commercial credit drops to a permanent 10 percent. Every homeowner who buys and owns their PV system can claim and deduct this percentage from their federal taxes in the given year. There are two different solar tax credits, one for residential and one for commercial installations.

To qualify for this residential solar credit, you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • The solar system must provide energy for your home,
  • You must meet certain electrical and fire code requirements,
  • Your system must be placed into service from after 01/01/2006 and on or before 12/31/2021.

To qualify for this business solar credit, you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • You must use new solar products

 

  • It must be located within the US,
  • The user has to be used by income tax payers,
  • Your system must be placed into service from after 01/01/2006 and on or before 12/31/2021,
  • The energy that is generated can not be further used to heat a swimming pool.

The ITC is a non refundable tax credit, but it can’t surpass the amount of taxes you owe. There are certain conditions when home solar batteries qualify for this mechanism. DIY solar installations are also eligible, excluding your own labor.

Since last year, new homes in California are required to use solar panels. Although the Solar Tax Credit is available only to anyone that pays federal taxes, there are plenty of other options available. Low income families can use the SASH program, The California Solar Initiative’s Single-family Affordable Solar Homes. This program provides solar incentives and includes one incentive level of $3.00 per watt to help lower the cost of solar electric systems. It is managed by GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization. It is the single state-wide program manager for the SASH 2.0 Program. The SASH 2.0 Program Manager will be responsible for the installation of systems. All systems must be installed by appropriately licensed California contractors in accordance with the State of California Contractors State Licensing Board. The budget for this program is $54 million.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Your electrical service must come from San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison or Pacific Gas and Electric,
  • You must own your home and live there,
  • Your household income has to be 80% or less of the area median income,
  • Your home has to be defined as an “affordable housing” according to the California Public Utilities Code 2852.

You can apply to this program by visiting the GRID Alternatives site www.gridalternatives.org or contact them by phone on  (866) 921-4696 or email [email protected]. After the application, you will be scheduled for an interview to discuss further details. If your application is going forward, a construction site visit will be scheduled and it will be determined if your site is fit for a solar installation.

Another program was launched together with SASH, called Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing or MASH. This program is currently closed to new applicants after 13 years and over 480 finished projects statewide. MASH provided incentives to help reduce the cost of solar systems to multifamily affordable housing in California.

Besides MASH, there is another option available when it comes to low-income multifamily solar installations. Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing or SOMAH is a program that provides incentives for installing photovoltaic energy systems and has a budget for up to $100 million annually.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Have at least five systems installed,
  • Be deed restricted low income residential housing,
  • Either 80% of the property residents have income less than 60% of the area median income or your property is located in a defined disadvantage community,
  • Have separately metric units,
  • Your electrical service must come from San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, PacifiCorp or Liberty Utilities territory.

You can apply to this program only online through their application portal PowerClerk.

GRID Alternatives’ National Tribal Program helps tribal communities implement solar power projects. These projects include everything from single solar installations to large scale projects. The Tribal Government Grant Challenge Program is another available program that includes providing help to tribes in conducting the planning of clean energy access and energy efficiency.

The entities eligible for this program are the California Native American Tribes that are on the contact list by the Native American Heritage Commision.

 

How can I get a debt grant?

Lower-income families in California can apply for grants, loans, charities and other financial help in all cities and counties. California has laws that protect patients from aggressive and illegal debt collectors. Debt settlement offers a way to eliminate your debt by paying a fraction of what you owe. Keep in mind that debt settlement companies either charge a percentage of your total enrolled debt or the debt settled. Debt relief companies should be accredited, so you should  verify that a company is accredited by the American Fair Credit Council or the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.

Getting help to lower your debt can be done by debt settlement, which can be applied to any kind of medical bills, mortgages, signature loans, old judgements, auto and student loans. The debt settlement works by negotiating a payment for less than the one you owe on your unsecured personal debt accounts. There are many debt settlement companies in California, such as NewEra Debt Solutions. This company has been in service since 1999 and has helped settle over $25 millions in debt for their clients. Their headquarters can be found in Camarillo, and you can contact them by email on [email protected] or speak directly to a debt specialist at (844) 675-1718. Besides debt settlement, you can also get aid by credit counseling, in which you make a single monthly payment to a credit counseling agency that distributes it to your creditors.

Debt settlement is not your only option when trying to get out of debts. Alternatives such as debt management, debt consolidation loans, balance transfer credit cards, bankruptcy and direct negotiation are also available to you. With a debt management program, you’ll get a plan for paying off your debt within a few years using a realistic budget. With debt consolidation you can take out a loan to combine multiple debts into a single payment, ideally with lower interest. A balance transfer credit card could offer you a chance to pay less interest while paying off – or at least reducing – your balance. If you move your account balances to the card and pay it off during the promotional period, you can consolidate credit card debt and manage your monthly finances more easily.

You can also try and reduce your debt by applying online for debt counseling services at InCharge.org, a non profit organization. This organization has a debt management program that works directly with creditors to consolidate your debt through the method of combining multiple debts into one monthly payment, reduce the interest rate on your credit, and create a monthly payment plan that you can afford.

 

Are there homeowner grants for bills?

There are plenty of options available in California that can help people in crisis pay for their utilities. Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help or REACH is a program that helps low income families pay for energy for over 30 years. It is administered by the Dollar Energy Fund. This program provides a credit for up to $300.00 based on the past due bill and can only be used to pay past due amounts. REACH is available from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021 and Grants are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. There is a balance requirement in the amount of $100.00 ($50.00 for senior citizens – age 62 and over) on the applicants’ Pacific Gas and Electric bill.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • You must have a residential account with a utility company in the name of an adult living in the household,
  • You must not have received the program’s assistance in the past 12 months,
  • Your income must not exceed the REACH income guidelines, which are currently 200 percent above the federal poverty guidelines,
  • You must have received either a 15-day or a 48-hour disconnection notice,

If you are interested in applying, you can contact the REACH program at 1-800-933-9677 or find

an agency in your county at https://www.hardshiptools.org/AgencyFinder.aspx.

Most utility and electric providers offer some forms of emergency financial assistance in the form of discounts to their customers. If you are using the services of The Pacific Gas and Electricity you can apply to one of the  two programs that can help you get a discount on your bill. California Alternate Rates for Energy Program or CARE offers a monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and electricity. This discount lasts for two years, or four years if you are on a fixed income.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • The PG&E bill must be in your name,
  • You must live at the address to which the discount applies,
  • You must not share an energy meter with another home,
  • Your monthly electric usage must not exceed six times the Tier 1 allowance, or the lowest-priced rate tier within PG&E’s standard Tiered Base Plan,
  • You must renew your eligibility every two years,
  • Qualification is based on the total income of everyone living in the home or participation in qualifying public assistance programs. (Your income eligibility is based on the current earnings of all persons living in your household going forward)

The second program that can provide you a discount is Family Electric Rate Assistance Program or FERA. This program can be used by households of three or more people and helps you with a monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. This discount lasts for two years and you can reapply again.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • The PG&E bill must be in your name,
  • You must live at the address to which the discount applies,
  • You must not share an energy meter with another home
  • You must account for all sources of qualifying household income and meet the program income guidelines (Add all household members’ incomes from all eligible sources for your total gross annual household income).

If you are having problems paying your bills and mortgages as a result of Covid19, you can use the new federal program called The Homeowner Assistance Fund. Through this program, states will administer $9.961 billion to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020.

If you’re having difficulty paying your natural gas bill, the Gas Assistance Fund or GAF may be able to provide you with a one-time grant for the amount of the gas bill, not to exceed $200.00. This program is funded by donations and administered by the United Way of Los Angeles.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • The natural gas bill must be in the name of the applicant requesting assistance,
  • The bill address must be the applicant’s primary residence,
  • The applicant must not apply for more than the maximum GAF allowance for the current program year
  • The applicant must meet the income guidelines.

If you are interested in applying, you can contact find the non-profit organization in your area at https://www.socalgas.com/save-money-and-energy/assistance-programs/gas-assistance-fund/2021-utility-assistance-program-gaf-agencies or call 1-877-238-0092.

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet, but not both.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • your income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines,
  • You or someone in your household participates in the federal assistance programs such as: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit and Tribal Programs.

If you live on tribal lands, you can also get $25.00. The Lifeline discount is only available per household. If you are interested in this program by contacting the agency at 1-866-675-6623 or email [email protected].

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP is another available option. This program assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs.

If you are interested in this program you can call at 1-866-674-6327 or send an email to  [email protected].

The H20 – Help to Others is a low-income ratepayer assistance program that does not offer direct financial support, but deduction on your monthly water bill. This includes a discount of several dollars per month which can lower bills by 20 percent or more. If interested in applying, H2O – Help to Others applications are mailed annually to customers as part of their bills. The applications are also available at their local office, California American Water community events and online at www.california amwater.com.

 

Are there tax grants for homeowners?

California, like many other states, offers property tax assistance to seniors, veterans and disabled people. There are two types of programs you can consider if you are facing difficulties paying your taxes, The Property Tax Assistance Program and The Property Tax Postponement Program.

The Property Tax Assistance Program provides direct cash reimbursements to low income seniors, blind and disabled people for part of the property taxes on their homes. This program is also known as the Gonsalves-Deukmejian-Petris Property Tax Assistance Law. If you are eligible for this program, you can file with the Franchise Tax Board a claim for assistance. You can receive assistance in an amount equal to a percentage, determined as provided, of either the property taxes accrued and paid by the claimant on their residential dwelling or, with respect to a claimant renting their residence, the applicable statutory property tax equivalent. For additional information regarding homeowner property tax assistance, contact the California Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-868-4171.

The State Controller’s Office (SCO) also administers The Property Tax Postponement Program (PTP), which allows eligible homeowners, including homeowners who are seniors, blind and have a disability, to postpone payment of current year property taxes on their primary residence.The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement Program allows homeowners to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence. This postponement needs to be eventually repaid, and that is secured by a lien against the real property or a security agreement with the Department of Housing and Community Development for manufactured homes. The interest rate for all taxes postponed under this program is 5 percent per year. Applications may be submitted between October 1 and February 10 each year, unless there is a declared state of emergency in your county. The typical processing time is 6-8 weeks and applications will be approved and taxes postponed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Be at least 62 years of age, or blind, or disabled,
  • Own and occupy the property as a principal place of residence,
  • Have a total household income of $45,000 or less,
  • Have at least 40 percent equity in the property,
  • Not have a reverse mortgage on the property.

If you are interested in applying for this postponement program, you can contact the Controller’s team at (800) 952-5661 or [email protected].

 

How can I get a grant to repair my home?

There are plenty of “home repair” programs that people in California can use in the form of grants, loans, incentives etc. The best place to start searching for available grants is your local Department of House and Urban Development or HUD’s office. This department awards discretionary funding through over twenty grant programs that support HUD initiatives, including Affordable Housing Development and Preservation, Community and Economic Development, Environment and Energy, Fair Housing, Homelessness, Homeownership, Rental Assistance, and Supportive Housing and Services. Every year, HUD publishes a Notice of Funding Availability or NOFO. This notice contains the types of available funding and a contact where and how you can submit your application.

Habitat of Humanity of Greater Los Angeles has a Home Preservation Program that helps low income families repair the interior or exterior of their homes. They provide from $5000.00 to $20,000.00 in home repairs.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Your home must be located in the Habitat LA Service Area,
  • This property must serve as a primary residence of all owners,
  • The property must be a single-family residence, manufactured home, condominium, townhome or duplex,
  • Household income must be below current maximum income limits,
  • Homeowners must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Legal Residents.

You can apply to this program by contacting on (310) 323-4663 ext. 314, or contacting your local affiliate on https://www.habitatca.org/about/find-your-local-affiliate/.

The Department of Housing and Community Development or HCD provides loans and grants through over 20 programs, such as:

 

  • Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program – grants and loans for development or rehabilitation of rental and owner-occupied housing for agricultural workers with priority for lower-income households. The purpose of this program is providing aid in new construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for agricultural workers. The funding of this program is in the amount of $86 million. Applications are invited by issuance of a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), and are received and reviewed on an Over-the-Counter (OTC) basis per the NOFA. For any additional questions you can use the email [email protected].

 

  • Local Housing Trust Fund Program or  LHTF – provides loans for construction of rental housing projects with units restricted for at least 55 years to households earning less than 60 percent of area median income.

 

  • Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program or  PLHA – There are two types of assistance under PLHA, formula grants to entitlement and non-entitlement jurisdictions based on the formula prescribed under federal law for the Community Development Block Grant, as well as competitive grants to non-entitlement jurisdictions. Applications are invited through the issuance of Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs).

This department has awarded over 958 grants and loans since its founding in 1965.

One of their programs is HOME, or HOME Investment Partnership Program that provides grants to cities and counties for the purpose of housing rehabilitation, new construction, and acquisition and rehabilitation, for both single-family and multifamily projects. Funds are available in California communities that do not receive HOME funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To be eligible for HOME funds, the homeowner must be low-income and occupy the property as a principal residence. Additionally, the value of the HOME-assisted property after rehabilitation must not exceed 95 percent of the median purchase price for the area.

If you are a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or an Alaska Native, live in an approved tribal service area, have an income that does not exceed 125 percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Poverty Guidelines you are eligible for a Housing Improvement Program. The purpose of the program is to eliminate substantially substandard Indian owned and inhabited housing for very low income eligible Indians living in approved tribal service areas. The Housing Improvement Program or HIP is a home repair, renovation, replacement and new housing grant program administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and federally-recognized Indian tribes.

This program provides up to $7,500 in housing repairs for conditions that threaten the health and/or safety of the occupants. It also provides up to $60,000 for repairs and renovation to improve the condition of a homeowner’s dwelling to meet applicable building code standards, as well as a modest replacement home if a homeowner’s dwelling cannot be brought to applicable building code standards.

If you are interested in this program you can call 202-513-7622 or visit the program’s official page https://www.bia.gov/bia/ois/contact-us.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also offers home loans and grants. These programs help service members, veterans, and surviving spouses buy, refinance, or modify their home. You may be able to get an Specially Adapted Housing Grant or SAH grant if you’re using the grant money to buy, build, or change your permanent home. If you qualify for an SAH grant, you can get up to $100,896.00 for FY 2021. This is the current total maximum amount allowed for these grants. Another available grant is the  Special Home Adaptation Grant or SAH. You may be able to get an SHA grant if you’re using the grant money to buy, build, or change your permanent home. If you qualify for an SHA grant, you can get up to $ 20,215.00 for FY 2021. This is the current total maximum amount allowed for SHA grants.

The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Program or HOPWA is the only Federal program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Under the HOPWA Program, HUD makes grants to local communities, States, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Eligible applicants include metropolitan statistical areas with more than 500,000 people and at least 2,000 HIV/AIDS cases and States with more than 2,000 HIV/AIDS cases outside of eligible metropolitan statistical areas. Awards are contingent upon the submission and approval by HUD of a jurisdiction’s Consolidated Plan.

 

How can I get a grant for windows?

Low income Californians can use the Weatherization Assistance Program or WAP by the Department of Energy. This program focuses on low income families, eldrely residents, individuals with disabilities, and families with children. WAP can be used for repairing and replacing windows, sealing holes around windows, doors and pipes, repairing and replacing water heaters, as well as proper use of heating and air conditioning systems. This program began in 1976 and it provides help for over 35,000 homes every year using Department of Energy fonds.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as having an annual household income that is below 60% of the state median income.  Under DOE guidelines, your household automatically is eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program if you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income or Aid to Families with Dependent Children. The Weatherization Assistance Program can also be used for improving your heating, cooling and electrical systems, as well as upgrading your energy-consuming home appliances.

You can apply by using their site and contacting your state weatherization administrator at https://www.energy.gov/eere/wap/how-apply-weatherization-assistance.

 

How can I get a grant for new flooring?

The U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance through a program called Home Repair Loan and Grant Program. This program offers qualifying homeowners low-interest loans and grants for the purpose of necessary home repairs, including flooring, roofing, siding, insulation, electrical, and other health and safety hazards.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Be the homeowner and occupy the house
  • Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
  • Have a family income below 50% of the area’s median income
  • For grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan.

You can apply to this program by contacting on 530-217-6252 or contacting the  Program Specialist Robert Canepa at [email protected].

 

Are there grants for the elderly?

There is a wide variety of grants for older adults available each year. The California Department of Aging (CDA) administers such programs that provide aid to older adults. The primary beneficiaries of the various programs and services are people over 55, elderly, senior citizens and the disabled. They also administer the Area Agencies on Aging. You can find your nearest consultant at https://www.aging.ca.gov/Providers_and_Partners/Area_Agencies_on_Aging.

Another program is The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) that provides both social and health care management services to assist individuals remain in their own homes and communities. These services may include: care management, adult day care, minor home repair, respite services, meal services, and more. Every person over 65 is eligible for this program. You can apply to this program by calling 1-800-510-2020 for your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

Home repair grants up to $7,500 are available to senior citizens aged 62 or older through The Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program – Section 504. USDA rural housing programs are available to eligible applicants in rural areas that usually have a population not more than 20,000 outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) and areas within an MSA with populations of 10,000 or less. In this program an elderly applicant (62 years of age or older) may use a grant if he/she has an income so low as to be only able to repay a portion of the amount needed for repairs and improvements. An applicant is eligible for a grant only if the budget analysis indicates that the household would be unable to repay a loan for the amount needed over a 20 year term.  If the budget analysis indicates that a grant applicant has partial repayment ability, the amount the applicant can repay must be issued as a loan, with only the remainder provided as a grant.  A total grant may be provided to an elderly applicant whose income is so low as to have no Section 504 repayment ability.

These grant funds may only be used to pay for repairs and improvements resulting in removal of identified health and/or safety hazards or to repair or remodel dwellings to make them accessible and useful for household members with disabilities. Grant recipients must sign an agreement not to sell the property for three years. In the event the property is sold within three years, the grantee or their heirs or estate must reimburse Rural Development the full amount of the grant. Applications are submitted to the local Rural Development office serving the county where the housing is located.

ElderHelp of San Diego is a non profit organization that provides services and information that help seniors remain independent and live with dignity in their own homes. They have several programs including Care Coordination, in which clients are matched with vetted volunteers providing them various services, and Seniors A Go Go, in which seniors are provided with escorted transportation.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of HUD offers a lot of options that can help seniors. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is one of their programs that helps seniors who have equity in their homes and want to supplement their income.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Be 62 years of age or older
  • Own the property outright or paid-down a considerable amount
  • Occupy the property as your principal residence
  • Not be delinquent on any federal debt
  • Have financial resources to continue to make timely payment of ongoing property charges such as property taxes, insurance and Homeowner Association fees, etc.
  • Participate in a consumer information session given by a HUD- approved HECM counselor.

If you are interested in this program you can call on (800) 569-4287 or find an official counseling agency at https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hecm_agency_look.cfm.

If you live in Victorville, Southern California, you might be interested in The Senior Home Repair Program. This program is designed to assist low income homeowners who are at least 62 year of age, permanently disabled, or handicapped, by providing a one-time grant in an amount of not less $1,000 and up to $15,000, to make eligible home repairs. If you are interested in this program, you can call on  (760) 243-1922.

If you live in Riverside County, you can receive a grant from the Senior Home Repair Program. This program provides a one time repair to homes owned and occupied by very low -income senior citizens, as well as disabled people. If you are interested in this program, you can call (800) 984-1000 or email at [email protected]

 

Are there grants for low income homeowners?

There are plenty of “home repair” programs that people in California can use in the form of grants, loans, incentives etc. The best place to start searching for available grants is your local Department of House and Urban Development or HUD’s office. This department awards discretionary funding through over 20 Grant programs that support HUD initiatives, including Affordable Housing Development and Preservation, Community and Economic Development, Environment and Energy, Fair Housing, Homelessness, Homeownership, Rental Assistance, and Supportive Housing and Services. Every year, HUD publishes a Notice of Funding Availability or NOFO. This notice contains the types of available funding and a contact where and how you can submit your application.

Low income homeowners can get help with the home repair’s cost depending on the county they reside in. If you live in the city of Garden Grove, you can get a grant up to $5,000.00 for improving substandard living conditions as well as necessary health and safety improvements to your home. This Home Repair Program is limited and operates on the first come first serve basis.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Your annual household income must be at or below 80% of the area median income,
  • All household members over 18 years must submit income verification documentation,
  • Your property must be in Garden Grove and owner occupied,
  • You must wait 5 years to reapply if you are a prior grant recipient.

You can apply to this program on http://apply.ggcity.org.

If you live in Alameda County you can apply for a Minor Home Repair grant. This grant can be up to $2,000.00  You can use this grant for  minor plumbing, carpentry, electrical repairs, as well as railings, grab bars, toilets, water heaters, doors, locks and more.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Have a household income at or below the HUD income limits,
  • Own your own home in one of our service areas,
  • Oakland homeowners must be 62 years or older and/or have a disability.

You can apply to this program on 510-567-8280.

Grants are also available to low income households in the city of Fullerton through their Home Improvement Program. The Forgivable Loan or Grant can be used on properties that are owner-occupied by low income residents and they are forgiven over a three year period. You can also use the Residential Roof Grant for up to $15,000.00 to replace deteriorated roofs, as well as the Residential Paint Grant for up to $6,500.00 for exterior painting. Additional available grants are the Residential Code Items Grant that provides up to $5,000 to correct building code violations or to address health and safety violations and the Residential Handicap Modifications Grant provides up to $6,000 for home improvements for disabled homeowners.

The City of Monterey’s Housing and Property Management Office administers and manages a Housing Rehabilitation Program which encompasses a variety of housing rehabilitation home repair grants. The  Mr. Fix It Grant can be used for small plumbing and electrical repairs, repair or replacement of toilets, windows, doors and hardware, as well as repairs or replacements of water and wall heaters.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • the home must be the homeowner’s primary residence (owner occupied),
  • the owner’s income must be 80% of median or below,
  • The property must be a single family residence within the City of Monterey.

If you own a mobile home in the city of San Diego, you can apply for a Housing Repair Loans and Grant Program. The Mobile Home Repair Grant is a non-repayable grant of up to $12,000.00. The program generally addresses health and safety items, including roof repair and heating, electrical, or plumbing systems.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • You must be the owner and live in the single family home or mobile home you would like to repair,
  • You must live in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, or in the cities of Del Mar, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, or Solana Beach,
  • Your household’s annual gross income must be at or below 80% of the area’s median income.

If you are interested in this program, you can call (858) 694-4847.

If you live in Signal Hill, you can apply for a Residential Rehabilitation Program. This program provides a one time grant for exterior repairs to owner occupied, single family homes and duplexes. If you are interested and eligible for this program call (562) 989-7342 or email at [email protected]

Sacramento Housing and Development Agency also offers an Emergency Repair Grant. This program provides funds for emergencies, as well as health and safety repairs to owners of single family homes and mobile homes. These funds might be used to finance repairs such as unsafe electrical systems, broken windows, doors, locks, water heaters, leaking roofs, etc. If you are interested in this program, you can call (916) 264-1500.

This agency also has a Handicapped/Disabled Grant Program.  These funds may be used for home accessibility improvements to handicapped or disabled homeowners. Funds may only be used to finance accessibility improvements such as wheelchair ramps, bathroom and kitchen modifications, grab bars, mechanical lifts, high-rise toilets, etc. If you are interested in this program, you can call (916) 264-1500.

The city of Burbank also has a Residential Rehabilitation Program and offers financial and technical assistance in your home repairs. These repairs may include plumbing, roofing, heating, painting, rewiring, and other. If you are interested in this program, you can call (818) 238-5190.

If you live in Morgan Hill, a Low-Income Senior and/or Disabled Homeowner Rehabilitation Grant Program for Owner-Occupied Single Family and Mobile Home Housing is available to you. This program is offered with a collaboration with the Rebuilding Together organization. An applicant is eligible for a repair grant when the applicant is a senior (62 years of age or older) and/or disabled. Grant amount maximum will be $7,500.00. The gross annual income of the Senior and/or disabled applicant may not exceed 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). For 2020 (through April of 2021), that amount is $89,750 or less for a family of two. These funds may be used in minor home repairs, including exterior and interior painting, repairs or replacements  on floor covering when they pose a safety or health hazard, gutter repairs, heating and water system repairs, plumbing repairs or replacements, roof repairs, swamp coolers, window, door and siding repair or replacement, and many more. If you are interested in this program, you can call (408) 776-7373 or email at [email protected].

The city of Redding also offers a grant to low income homeowners. The Minor Home Repair Program for Seniors assists senior homeowners (including mobile homes) who do not have the financial resources to complete minor health and safety related home repairs. A grant up to $500 annually is used to pay for repairs. There is a $1,500 lifetime limit per household and the property must be located in the City of Redding. These fund may be used in home repairs, inlucing plumbing problems, small electrical hazards, maintenance repairs to  furnaces, roofing, gutters, steps, railings and hazardous trees, weatherstripping, caulking around doors and windows, minor code violations, health and safety hazards, and more. If you are interested and eligible for this program, you can call 530-225-4040 or email at [email protected].

The city of San Leandro has offered home repair grants and house rehabilitation loans to lower income households since 1976. The grants are actually a loan with 0% interest, with 25% a year forgiven, over a four (4) year period. The purpose of this policy is to discourage repairing a home and then immediately selling it. Grants cannot be combined with the rehabilitation loan program. If the work needed exceeds the scope or cost of the grant program, the loan program would be used instead. Grants are only available to very low income (households earning less than 50% of the area median income) San Leandro residents that own and live in their home. According to their official site, the following grants are available for these residents:

 

  • Minor Home Repair Grant – a $2,000 maximum grant to make minor repairs to conditions threatening the health and safety of the occupants.
  • Mobile Home Repair Grant – A $5,000 maximum grant to owner-occupants of mobile homes to make minor repairs to conditions that threaten the health and safety of the occupants.
  • Accessibility Grant – a $5,000 maximum grant to make the home accessible to disabled or elderly people.
  • Exterior Clean-Up Grant – a $1,000 maximum grant to help with year clean-up and debris removal.
  • Exterior Paint Grant – a $3,000 maximum grant to paint the exterior of the home.
  • Seismic Strengthening Grant – a $5,000 maximum grant to make improvements to reduce possible earthquake damage.

Mobile Home Grants are available to Bellflower residents who meet the eligibility requirements. This grant provides up to $10,000 worth of assistance for exterior/interior repairs on mobile homes. These funds may be used for repairs including electrical repairs, roofing, railings, windows/doors, water heater, exterior painting, smoke detectors, and items pertinent to meeting health and safety standards.

 To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Must meet the income limits,
  • After-rehabilitation value of the home must not exceed 95% of Area Median Value,
  • The home must be owner-occupied,
  • All eligible items of improvement under the three programs must be approved by the City.

The city of Bellflower also offers a Fix-It Grant to senior citizens (62+) and residents with a disability. This grant provides up to $10,000 worth of assistance for exterior and interior repairs. Interior repairs must address health and safety violations or issues in order to be eligible. Under this program the property owner would not have to pay back the amount given toward repairing their property. If you are interested and eligible in these two programs, call (562) 804-1424 ext 2244.

The city of Upland offers programs for first time home buyers, programs that offer loans of up to a maximum of $90,000 for rehabilitation work to single-family owner-occupied homes located within city limits, as well as an Emergency Repair Program for Homeowners. This program provides funds to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions in your home. It is funded by the Upland Community Redevelopment Agency and it is available on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested and eligible in this program, call 909-931-4105.

If you are a resident of Tulare, and you are in need of a minor repair you can call (559) 734-4040 ext 100 or email [email protected] and get informed on the Habitat for Humanity’s Home Repair Program. This program is available through the Habitat for Humanity organization in partnership with the City of Tulare and it provides funds for emergency housing repairs to qualified low-income residential homeowners. These repairs may include exterior painting, fence repairs, door and window replacements, weatherization, minor plumbing and electrical repairs, wheelchair ramps and other types of minor repairs.

This city also offers loans with partnership with Self Help Enterprises to low-income residents for essential health and safety home repairs; such as, roofing, plumping, electrical, energy conservation, weatherization, emergency repairs and handicap accessible modifications. If you are interested in these loans call (559) 651-1000 or email [email protected].

The City of Bell Gardens was notified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development or HCD that it successfully submitted its CalHome grant application and has been awarded $3,450,000.00 for the First-time Homebuyer Mortgage Assistance and Owner-Occupied Home Rehabilitation Programs. The funds awarded to the City through the CalHome Program. The program has income limits based on the County median. A minimum loan amount of $10,000 is required with a maximum of $100,000.00 for down payment assistance and up to $125,000.00 for property repairs/rehabilitation. CalHome program funds in support of an Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation program shall be used only for costs like appraisal, architectural, engineering, and other consultant services that are directly related to the rehabilitation of the property. If you are interested and in need of this program, call (310) 365-8273 or email [email protected]

The San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity is a program that provides housing services as well as home improvement services to low income families. This Home Preservation Program may be used for services such as door repairs, drainage repairs, fencing, gutters, roofs, siding, trim and fascia, windows, landscaping, paint, porches and ramps and railings. Homeowners pay for these repair services through a repayment plan and they are completed using professional and/or volunteer labor. If you are interested and in need of this program, call (626) 709-3275. According to their official website, the homeowners pay no more than 8% of the total costs. For example, if a project is estimated to cost $5,000 for Habitat to complete, the maximum cost to the homeowner would be $400.

If you are a resident of  the city of Tustin you can fill this application and apply for the Block Grant Funding. These funds can be used for housing rehabilitation, housing services, removal of architectural barriers etc. As an entitlement community, the City of Tustin receives approximately $820,000 annually since 1994.

 

https://www.tustinca.org/DocumentCenter/View/4492/Non-Public-Service-Funding-Application?bidId=

Home repair grants up to $7,500 are available to senior citizens aged 62 or older through The Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program – Section 504. USDA rural housing programs are available to eligible applicants in rural areas that usually have a population not more than 20,000 outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) and areas within an MSA with populations of 10,000 or less. In this program an elderly applicant (62 years of age or older) may use a grant if he/she has an income so low as to be only able to repay a portion of the amount needed for repairs and improvements. An applicant is eligible for a grant only if the budget analysis indicates that the household would be unable to repay a loan for the amount needed over a 20 year term.  If the budget analysis indicates that a grant applicant has partial repayment ability, the amount the applicant can repay must be issued as a loan, with only the remainder provided as a grant.  A total grant may be provided to an elderly applicant whose income is so low as to have no Section 504 repayment ability.

These grant funds may only be used to pay for repairs and improvements resulting in removal of identified health and/or safety hazards or to repair or remodel dwellings to make them accessible and useful for household members with disabilities. Grant recipients must sign an agreement not to sell the property for three years. In the event the property is sold within three years, the grantee or their heirs or estate must reimburse Rural Development the full amount of the grant. Applications are submitted to the local Rural Development office serving the county where the housing is located.

 

What are the easiest homeowner grants to get?

The easiest homeowner grants to get are those that have a solid foundation for requesting money, are well-thought out, have a plan for the future and are clear and concise in their goals and objectives. To obtain a grant, first you look for an organization whose goals match what you need to have funded.

There are plenty of “home repair” programs that people in California can use in the form of grants, loans, incentives etc. The best place to start searching for available grants is your local Department of House and Urban Development or HUD’s office.This department awards discretionary funding through over 20 Grant programs that support HUD initiatives, including Affordable Housing Development and Preservation, Community and Economic Development, Environment and Energy, Fair Housing, Homelessness, Homeownership, Rental Assistance, and Supportive Housing and Services. Every year, HUD publishes a Notice of Funding Availability or NOFO. This notice contains the types of available funding and a contact where and how you can submit your application. Low income homeowners can get help with the home repair’s cost depending on the county they reside in.

California Department of Housing and Community Development or HCD grants The California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program or CASH funds in the form of five-year grants to eligible applicants. This program provides funds in the form of five-year grants to eligible applicants. These funds can be used for  housing relocation and stabilization services (including rental assistance), operating subsidies for permanent housing, flexible housing subsidy funds, operating support for emergency housing interventions, and systems support for homelessness services and housing delivery systems. CalHome provides low- and very low-income households to become or remain homeowners. Although this program does not lend directly to individuals, this funding can be used through local public agencies and nonprofit developers.

If you are planning on buying a house, First Home Mortgage Program can help you. This program is administered by the Los Angeles County Development Authority and the Public Finance Division of the County of Orange. This program offers a competitive 30-year fixed rate loan and a grant for down payment and closing costs assistance.The eligible areas are all unincorporated areas and incorporated cities in Los Angeles County and Orange County.

The California Housing Finance Agency or CalHFA offers some homebuyer assistance programs with fixed-rate loans and the option to roll in down payment and closing cost assistance into your mortgage. The property must be located in California and can’t exceed $765,000.000.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Must have a minimum credit score of 660 for conventional low income rate loans and 680 for conventional standard rate loans,
  • Debt-to-income ratio can’t exceed 45 percent or automated underwriting or 43 percent for manual underwriting,
  • Must meet CalHFA’s income limits based on your specific area,
  • In most instances, must be a first-time homebuyer and a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or qualified alien,
  • Must attend a home buying counseling course and present a certificate of completion,
  • Must meet any additional loan requirements of your CalHFA-approved lender and the mortgage insurer.

The Cal-EEM + Grant Program is one of these programs. It combines an FHAinsured first mortgage (Cal-EEM) loan with an additional grant (EEM Grant), allowing energy efficient improvements over and above the FHA maximum allowable EEM loan amount. you can combine the mortgage with a grant of up to 4 percent of the purchase price. This must be used to pay for energy-efficient improvements that exceed FHA’s limits for improvement costs. The maximum limit is either 5 percent of the property’s value (not to exceed $8,000.00) or $4,000.00, whichever is greater based on the value of the property. Borrowers must get an energy assessment from a qualified energy assessor to identify cost-effective energy improvements. If you are interested and eligible in this program you can contact the loan officers at https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/heroes/index.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

Can I get a grant to renovate my house?

There are plenty of “home repair” programs that people in California can use in the form of grants, loans, incentives etc.

Habitat of Humanity of Greater Los Angeles has a Home Preservation Program that helps low income families repair the interior or exterior of their homes. They provide from $5000.00 to $20,000.00 in home repairs.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Your home must be located in the Habitat LA Service Area,
  • This property must serve as a primary residence of all owners,
  • The property must be a single-family residence, manufactured home, condominium, townhome or duplex,
  • Household income must be below current maximum income limits,
  • Homeowners must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Legal Residents.

You can apply to this program by contacting on (310) 323-4663 ext. 314, or contacting your local affiliate on https://www.habitatca.org/about/find-your-local-affiliate/.

The Department of Housing and Community Development or HCD provides loans and grants through over 20 programs, such as:

 

  • Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program – grants and loans for development or rehabilitation of rental and owner-occupied housing for agricultural workers with priority for lower-income households. The purpose of this program is providing aid in new construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for agricultural workers. The funding of this program is in the amount of $86 million. Applications are invited by issuance of a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), and are received and reviewed on an Over-the-Counter (OTC) basis per the NOFA. For any additional questions you can use the email [email protected].

 

  • Local Housing Trust Fund Program or  LHTF – provides loans for construction of rental housing projects with units restricted for at least 55 years to households earning less than 60 percent of area median income.
  • Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program or  PLHA – There are two types of assistance under PLHA, formula grants to entitlement and non-entitlement jurisdictions based on the formula prescribed under federal law for the Community Development Block Grant, as well as competitive grants to non-entitlement jurisdictions. Applications are invited through the issuance of Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs).

This department has awarded over 958 grants and loans since its founding in 1965.

One of their programs is HOME, or HOME Investment Partnership Program that provides grants to cities and counties for the purpose of housing rehabilitation, new construction, and acquisition and rehabilitation, for both single-family and multifamily projects. Funds are available in California communities that do not receive HOME funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To be eligible for HOME funds, the homeowner must be low-income and occupy the property as a principal residence. Additionally, the value of the HOME-assisted property after rehabilitation must not exceed 95 percent of the median purchase price for the area.

If you are a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or an Alaska Native, live in an approved tribal service area, have an income that does not exceed 125 percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Poverty Guidelines you are eligible for a Housing Improvement Program. The purpose of the program is to eliminate substantially substandard Indian owned and inhabited housing for very low income eligible Indians living in approved tribal service areas. The Housing Improvement Program or HIP is a home repair, renovation, replacement and new housing grant program administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and federally-recognized Indian tribes.

This program Provides up to $7,500 in housing repairs for conditions that threaten the health and/or safety of the occupants. It also provides up to $60,000 for repairs and renovation to improve the condition of a homeowner’s dwelling to meet applicable building code standards, as well as a modest replacement home if a homeowner’s dwelling cannot be brought to applicable building code standards.

If you are interested in this program you can call 202-513-7622 or visit the program’s official page https://www.bia.gov/bia/ois/contact-us.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also offers home loans and grants. These programs help service members, veterans, and surviving spouses buy, refinance, or modify their home. You may be able to get an Specially Adapted Housing Grant or SAH grant if you’re using the grant money to buy, build, or change your permanent home. If you qualify for an SAH grant, you can get up to $100,896.00 for FY 2021. This is the current total maximum amount allowed for these grants. Another available grant is the  Special Home Adaptation Grant or SAH. You may be able to get an SHA grant if you’re using the grant money to buy, build, or change your permanent home. If you qualify for an SHA grant, you can get up to $ 20,215.00 for FY 2021. This is the current total maximum amount allowed for SHA grants.

 

Can I get a grant to repair my roof?

Getting a roof repair or installing a new roof is a very expensive project. However, there are plenty of available options in the form of grants and loans that can help you and your family in the process.

The Weatherization Assistance Program is intended to help low income families, including families with members who have disabilities, low-income families with children, and senior citizens. The U.S. Department of Energy or DOE has run this program since 1976. The primary intention is to help low income families increase the energy efficiency of their homes and ensure their health and safety. In order to receive energy efficiency or weatherization services from a local provider, your household must meet certain eligibility requirements which include income, household size, energy use, and other factors. But, to obtain this benefit and even a free roof, a member of your family must receive Supplemental Security Income or Help for Families with Dependent Children. Once received, you will automatically be eligible for Weatherization Assistance.

One of the primary factors affecting eligibility is income. Under DOE guidelines, households at or below 200% of the poverty income guidelines are considered eligible for weatherization services. Once your home is selected for weatherization services, your local weatherization provider will schedule a date and time to complete an energy audit. Home energy auditors use advanced diagnostic equipment, such as a blower door, manometer, or infrared camera to determine the most cost-effective measures appropriate for each home.

WAP Grantees also give priority to people over 60 years of age, families with one or more members with a disability, families with children or high energy users. Owners, as well as tenants, may qualify providing they meet income-eligibility guidelines.

The Housing Preservation Grant or HPG program provides grants to sponsoring organizations for the repair or rehabilitation of low- and very low-income housing.  Those assisted must own very low- or low-income housing, either as homeowners, landlords, or members of a cooperative. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income and low income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI. The objective of the HPG program is to repair or rehabilitate individual housing, rental properties, or co-ops owned and/or occupied by very low- and low-income rural persons.

Sacramento Housing and Development Agency also offers an Emergency Repair Grant. This program provides funds for emergencies, as well as health and safety repairs to owners of single family homes and mobile homes. These funds might be used to finance repairs such as unsafe electrical systems, broken windows, doors, locks, water heaters, leaking roofs, etc. If you are interested in this program, you can call (916) 264-1500.

 

 

 

How do I apply for a federal home repair grant?

There are several places you can find available home improvement grants. To search or apply for grants, use the free, official website, Grants.gov. First, you have to register an account on this site. Then, you can search their site for their available grants and submit an application.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD provides all kinds of housing support and helps communities. If you live in a rural area, then you might be interested in the The Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program – Section 504. Applicants interested in applying for a repair loan or grant can contact their local Rural Development office and provide the following documentation:

 

The applications are accepted year round and their approval time depends on funding availability in your area.

 

How does HUD mortgage assistance work?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) supports a network of housing counseling agencies throughout the country. These agencies provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. Your options may include a repayment plan, loan modification, short sale or Deed-In-Lieu of foreclosure.

The approved housing agencies in California can be found at their site  https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=CA.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also funds a Emergency Homeowners Loan Program or EHLP, that provides mortgage help and loans to those homeowners who may be facing a foreclosure due to a drop in household income from a job loss, underemployment or reduction in working hours, involuntary unemployment, or a medical condition or emergency.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • You must be at least three months behind on their monthly mortgage payment,
  • The home involved must be your primary residence,
  • You must have demonstrated a timely payment record on their mortgage prior to the job loss or medical condition or event that produced the reduction of income for the homeowner.

If you are struggling to make your mortgage payment on your FHA-insured mortgage because of the impacts of COVID-19, you might get help from the Special COVID-19 mortgage relief for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages. Your mortgage servicer is required to offer you a mortgage payment forbearance, which allows you to reduce or pause making payments for a period of six months, with the option to extend for an additional six months if needed. You must request a COVID-19 Forbearance from your mortgage servicer by June 30, 2021 and no extra fees, penalties or interest will be added to your account. If you are able to resume making your payments, FHA’s COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim takes your past due amounts and puts them in a subordinate lien to be repaid later. You will only repay this lien when your mortgage ends, which, for most borrowers, is when you sell your home or refinance your mortgage.

 

Is the mortgage relief program legit?

Fannie Mae’s HIRO program and Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance or FMERR are the only active relief programs today. They provide mortgage incentives by replacing your existing loan with a new loan that has a lower interest rate and more affordable payments.

The Fannie Mae’s HIRO program can be used only by homeowners whose mortgages are currently owned by Fannie Mae. This program allows homeowners to refinance with no equity or an underwater loan. If your home has lost value since you bought it and you don’t have enough equity to do regular refinance, then this is a great option. You can’t apply to this program if you previously used the Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP, which was a similar project by Fannie Mae that expired.

The Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance program can be used for existing fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. This program is intended to refinance into a more sustainable mortgage that promotes long-term homeownership success, to reduce the monthly principal and interest payment of your first Lien Mortgage, as well as if you are interested in potentially reducing principal and interest payment. The Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance program is only available to homeowners whose mortgages are currently owned by Freddie Mac.

 

Is there a grant for rewiring a house?

Rewiring projects can also be included in the home-improvement grants such as The Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program – Section 504. Home repair grants up to $7,500 are available to senior citizens aged 62 or older through The Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program – Section 504. USDA rural housing programs are available to eligible applicants in rural areas that usually have a population not more than 20,000 outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) and areas within an MSA with populations of 10,000 or less.

 In this program an elderly applicant (62 years of age or older) may use a grant if he/she has an income so low as to be only able to repay a portion of the amount needed for repairs and improvements. An applicant is eligible for a grant only if the budget analysis indicates that the household would be unable to repay a loan for the amount needed over a 20 year term.  If the budget analysis indicates that a grant applicant has partial repayment ability, the amount the applicant can repay must be issued as a loan, with only the remainder provided as a grant.  A total grant may be provided to an elderly applicant whose income is so low as to have no Section 504 repayment ability.

These grant funds may only be used to pay for repairs and improvements resulting in removal of identified health and/or safety hazards or to repair or remodel dwellings to make them accessible and useful for household members with disabilities. Grant recipients must sign an agreement not to sell the property for three years. In the event the property is sold within three years, the grantee or their heirs or estate must reimburse Rural Development the full amount of the grant. Applications are submitted to the local Rural Development office serving the county where the housing is located.

Sacramento Housing and Development Agency also offers an Emergency Repair Grant. This program provides funds for emergencies, as well as health and safety repairs to owners of single family homes and mobile homes. These funds might be used to finance repairs such as unsafe electrical systems, broken windows, doors, locks, water heaters, leaking roofs, etc. If you are interested in this program, you can call (916) 264-1500.

 

What is the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program?

Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan for eligible homeowners who are having trouble making their mortgage payments.

The city of Victorville in Southern California offers a Mortgage Assistance Program for up to $55,000 for down payment and closing costs assistance. This program is on a first come, first serve basis and includes no payments for 30 years with 3% interest deferred loan.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • Must be a first-time homebuyer,
  • Mortgage must be with City of Victorville approved lender,
  • The property must be your primary residence, located in Victorville,
  • Single-family homes, condominiums, and townhomes under $336,000 (existing homes) and $384,503 (new homes) are eligible,
  • Borrowers must contribute 1% of purchase price.

In California, The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program provided mortgage payment assistance to eligible homeowners who experienced an involuntary job loss and were receiving California EDD unemployment benefits. Benefit assistance through UMA lasted up to eighteen (18) months. The maximum assistance per household was $54,000.00. This program is now closed.

If you are struggling to make your mortgage payment on your FHA-insured mortgage because of the impacts of COVID-19, you might get help from the Special COVID-19 mortgage relief for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages. Your mortgage servicer is required to offer you a mortgage payment forbearance, which allows you to reduce or pause making payments for a period of six months, with the option to extend for an additional six months if needed. You must request a COVID-19 Forbearance from your mortgage servicer by June 30, 2021 and no extra fees, penalties or interest will be added to your account. If you are able to resume making your payments, FHA’s COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim takes your past due amounts and puts them in a subordinate lien to be repaid later. You will only repay this lien when your mortgage ends, which, for most borrowers, is when you sell your home or refinance your mortgage.

 

What is a request for mortgage assistance?

A Request for Mortgage Assistance or RMA is the application you have to fill out to be considered for a mortgage loan modification. With a mortgage modification you can permanently change one or more terms of your mortgage loan. This includes getting a lower interest rate, some or all late fees and charges may be waived or reduced, your interest rate may be changed from an adjustable rate loan to a fixed rate, the months or years the homeowner has to repay the loan may be be lengthened, total loan principal may be reduced, as well as your second mortgage or equity loan could be waived.

 

https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/programs/docs/hamp_borrower/rma_english_sd1110.pdf

This form requires detailed information about the borrower’s current financial situation. The information provided will allow the mortgage lender to determine the filer’s eligibility for mortgage assistance. This form includes your current income, debts, expenses, employment, bankruptcies, and other issues that will help the lender determine if you are eligible for mortgage assistance. In the USA, modifications are made under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP.

To qualify for this program you must fit certain criteria such as:

 

  • You are having trouble making your mortgage payments because of financial hardship,
  • You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009,
  • Your property has not been condemned,
  • You owe up to $728,750 on your primary residence or one to four unit rental property.

 

Who can get a home improvement grant?

Grant programs are primarily directed at low-income families who might not be approved by a bank for funding. Eligibility requirements vary by the grant. For the most part, grants will have requirements depending on the homeowner’s income, their location and the projects the money can be used on. To search or apply for grants, use the free, official website, Grants.gov. Determining your eligibility for federal grants is an important first step in the federal grant application process. Register an account at the official site and find what grants are available and what are their requirements. The California State Library manages a site https://www.grants.ca.gov/ where you can find available grants in California, as well as information about how to apply and links that grantseekers can follow for more details.

There are plenty of “home repair” programs that people in California can use in the form of grants, loans, incentives etc. The best place to start searching if you are eligible for grants is your local Department of House and Urban Development or HUD’s office. While HUD does not offer direct grants or loans to individuals, they do work through local governments and non-profit organizations to make financial assistance and counseling available to eligible individuals.This department awards discretionary funding through over 20 Grant programs that support HUD initiatives, including Affordable Housing Development and Preservation, Community and Economic Development, Environment and Energy, Fair Housing, Homelessness, Homeownership, Rental Assistance, and Supportive Housing and Services. Every year, HUD publishes a Notice of Funding Availability or NOFO. This notice contains the types of available funding and a contact where and how you can submit your application. Low income homeowners can get help with the home repair’s cost depending on the county they reside in.

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