Ultimate Guide to Housing Assistance

Housing grants are sums of money offered to qualified households or individuals that need assistance renting or owning a home in the United States.

There are multiple types of housing grants available, and they are offered by either federal or state governments. These grants are unlike loans in that they are not required to be paid back by the beneficiaries. To learn more about various housing grants available to you, continue reading the sections below.

Housing Grant Availability

It is important to note that not every housing grant will meet your needs. Most housing grants are awarded based on need and there are often only a set number of awards per year. Applicants are often placed on a wait list. In addition, only certain individuals that meet specific eligibility requirements are able to receive a housing grant. Applicants generally must fall into a certain category including low-income families, seniors, veterans or first-time homeowners.

Types of Housing Grants Available

There are many different types of housing grants available, and the type of grant an applicant receives is dependent on their specific situation and qualifications. The different housing grants available include disability grants, veteran grants, senior grants, first-time homebuyer grants and housing vouchers. It is important to understand that due to the limited availability for these grants, applicants may have to be placed on a long wait list.

 

Disability grants

Section 811 offers housing grants in order to promote the expansion of affordable housing for low-income disabled individuals. This provides the disabled residents with the ability to live independently in an environment that provides support with activities such as cleaning, cooking, transportation and more.

Veteran grants

Veterans who are interested in buying or renting a home may be eligible for multiple different types of assistance. They can receive a VA home loan, lower interest rates during a home refinance, or VA mortgage assistance that can provide monetary assistance so that they can pay their rent or mortgage. Also, veterans who are temporarily residing in a home that is owned by a family member may be eligible for a temporary residence adaptation (TRA) grant for the period of time that they are in that house. In addition, veterans who are disabled can potentially qualify for a specially adapted housing (SAH) grant, which allows them to buy, build or remodel a home in order to have a residence that is handicap-accessible.

Senior grants

Applicants who are 62 years of age or older can potentially qualify for an HUD-sponsored assistance program. One of the programs available to senior citizens is Section 202 – the Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program that helps to provide options to seniors for independent living that also includes assistance with various tasks including cleaning, cooking, transportation and more.

First-time homebuyer grants

Residents who are deciding to purchase their first home can potentially qualify for first-time homebuyer grants. In addition, there are also Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax breaks that may be offered to certain first-time homebuyers as well.

Housing vouchers

Lastly, housing vouchers are available to qualifying disabled, low-income or elderly applicants. The housing voucher program is also known as the Section 8 program, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Housing vouchers are free of cost and assist qualifying households that are unable to afford their personal housing expenses. The PHA on behalf of the family applies the housing vouchers to the rent. It is important to note that if the housing voucher amount is not as much as the rent total due, the residents are responsible to pay the difference.

Housing Grants Eligibility Requirements

Each type of housing grant has different eligibility requirements because each is designed for a different population. For example, as mentioned above, there are housing grants available for adults with disabilities, meaning only adults that have a certain disability are eligible for that type of assistance. Those interested in receiving housing assistance should thoroughly research the various types of grants available. Applicant should also be aware of the eligibility requirements for each grant in order to see what they could potentially qualify to receive.

First-time homeowner grants receive funding from federal, state or local governments. Each assistance program may have different eligibility requirements. However, every organization requires that applicants must be able to qualify for a mortgage in order to receive the assistance. In addition, first-time homebuyers who are interested in obtaining a grant must take an HUD-approved Housing Counseling class in order to qualify.

 

All of the disability grants require that the applicant prove that he or she has a particular disability, including the loss or use of both arms, certain severe burns, blindness or other disabilities. The senior grants require that at least one person in the household is 62 years of age or older. In addition, the veteran grants require applicants to prove that they were members of the United States Armed Forces and may need to provide proof of income or disability to qualify for particular grant programs. Each of those assistance programs has additional requirements as well, so it is very important that interested applicants understand the eligibility for each program before applying.

Concerning housing vouchers, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds the vouchers, and the vouchers are locally administered by public housing agencies (PHA). The PHA’s are also responsible for determining who is eligible to receive the housing vouchers. The criteria used to determine eligibility is based on annual income and household size. In addition, the applicant must prove that he or she is a U.S. citizen or has lawful permanent residency. In order to receive the housing voucher, the applicant must first find any apartment or home of his or her choice, as long as it complies with the health and safety standards established by the PHA, and then they can begin the application process.

Housing Grants Application Process

It is very important for applicants to know if they are eligible to receive a grant before going through the whole application process. Applying for a grant can take a lot of time, and even cost money, so having a good idea beforehand allows the applicants to make an educated decision on whether or not to apply.

The application process for each type of housing grant may vary depending on the type of grant offered and the assistance program that is offering the grant. In most cases, the applicants must contact the agency that administers the grant in order to begin the application process.

 

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