Every home needs an upgrade at some point. While some lucky homeowners may have the necessary finance to carry out these remodeling, renovations, and upgrades, low-income breadwinners may not be able to afford the repairs.
Well, that’s where the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants come in. It’s a government-backed program designed to aid low-income households with the necessary loans and grants to improve their homes.
Let’s find out this program’s scope and requirements so you can apply for this government home improvement grant.
- What Is the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants?
- What Can You Do With the Loan and Grant?
- Who Can Apply?
- What Are the Terms of the Loan and Grants?
- How To Apply
- What Happens After Applying?
- Is There a Deadline?
- Revive Your Single-Family Home
What Is the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants?
The program, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair Program, is a program backed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). It was created to help elderly homeowners and low-income households repair, improve, or modernize their homes and remove hazards.
This program is perfect for people who cannot afford regular loans to repair and fix essential issues with their homes, such as insulation, septic system, or foundation. Moreover, the program seeks to help households add accessibility features and improve energy efficiency in such dwellings.
The Section 504 Home Repair Program is divided into two parts:
- Single Family Housing Repair Loans
- Single Family Housing Repair Grants
Housing Repair Loans
Section 504 Home Repair Loans is specially designed to help low-income earners make changes to their homes through repairs and renovations. These funds can also remove any health and safety hazards threatening their survival.
The maximum loan amount you can receive is $20,000, and it comes with a fixed interest rate of 1% with a repayment period of 20 years.
Housing Repair Grants
The Section Home Repair Grants have a less limited scope compared to the Home Repair Loans. Here, the free grants are awarded solely for removing any health and safety hazards from the home.
The maximum amount provided is $7,500 in government grants that won’t have to be repaid. You may be able to apply for both the home repairs loan and grant and get a total sum of $27,500 and only get to pay the loan amount. However, if you choose to sell the property within 3 years, you’ll be mandated to repay the grant.
You can also read, “How to Get Financial Help To Pay Your Utility Bills.”
What Can You Do With the Loan and Grant?
The following are repairs you can do with the repair assistance grant and loan:
- Roof repairs
- Setting up solar energy
- Widening doorways and hallways
- Replacing or adding windows
- Addition of wheelchair ramps
- Replacing an electrical fitting
- Designing an excellent water system
Who Can Apply?
The repair assistance grants and loans are not meant for every household, as it targets certain homeowners. To apply for the program, you must:
- Be a US citizen or a legal permanent resident
- Be a homeowner and occupy the home in question
- Have a meager household income. The income must not exceed the income limits in your state
- Be residing in a rural area. You can use the USDA Eligibility Checker to enter any location within your state to see if it is eligible
- Be able to repay the loan through your monthly assets or income
- Be unable to obtain credit elsewhere for the renovations
- Live in a home that needs repairing to live safely
- Be 65 or older and unable to repay a home repair loan
What Are the Terms of the Loan and Grants?
The following are the terms of the loan or grant provided by the USDA:
- The loans have a repayment period of 20 years.
- The interest on loans is fixed at 1%.
- While the grants are capped at $7,500, you can receive up to $10,000.
- Grants must be repaid if the home is sold in less than 3 years after renovations.
- You may be offered a loan and grant combination only if you can repay parts of the loan – for people aged 65 or older.
How To Apply
The home repair program application process is the same nationwide. You should visit the Rural Development field office near your current residence in person. You cannot apply for the loan or grant via email or phone.
You will need to fill out some forms and submit the following documents when you apply for the home repair assistance grant or loan:
- Form RD 410-4 (Uniform Residential Loan Application)
- Form RD 3550-1 (Request for Information)
- Form RD 3550-4 (Employment and Asset Certification)
- Evidence of ownership of the home
- Tax information
- An itemized description of repairs and a copy of the contractor’s license
- Photos of the areas specified for repairs or renovation
- Any other item listed on Attachment 12-E Checklist
What Happens After Applying?
If your application is successful, the USDA will assign a local community agency to help you with the process. The agency will also help you procure the loan or grant requested.
Is There a Deadline?
There is no deadline to apply for the Section 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant. This USDA deals on a first-come, first-served basis which applies nationwide. It is vital to note that funding is limited, so you should apply as soon as possible.
Revive Your Single-Family Home
The Single Family Housing Repair Loan & Grants program is designed to provide financial solutions to homeowners needing to renovate, modernize, and repair their homes. It offers low-interest loans and free grants to low-income earners, seniors, and disabled individuals who want to take care of their home repairs but lack the necessary funds.
We hope that, with the help of the Section 504 Home Repair Program, you can now make your home safe and keep it in line with the rest of the homes in your community.