Home repair grants for low-income families

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Home repair grants for low-income families
Grants can help low-income families with much-needed home repairs. (the hammer image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

According to a 2008 article from the Urban Institute, a non-partisan economic and social policy research organisation, one-third of American families are low income and many don't make enough money to cover the everyday costs of living, despite the fact that 80 per cent of these families have one or more members with full-time jobs. When you're not making enough to keep food on the table, other expenses such as home repair may not be on the top of your priority list. Several government grants are available to help low-income families pay for home repairs.

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USDA Rural Development Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office offers grants to low-income homeowners through the Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants program. The program provides grants to "very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernise their dwellings or to remove health and safety hazards," according to grant guidelines. To be eligible, homeowners must make less than 50 per cent of the median income of their area and be unable to obtain credit for home repairs. Grant funds can only be used to remove health or safety hazards. Grants range up to £4,875. If the home is sold within three years, homeowners may have to pay back the grant.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Rural Development Office

1400 Independence Ave. SW

Washington, DC 20250

202-690-1533

rurdev.usda.gov

King County Housing Authority

Washington State's King County Housing Authority offers grants through the Housing Repair and Weatherization program. Most grants are awarded to households run by seniors, people with disabilities or families with young children. Households in King County, outside of the Seattle city limits, that make less than 80 per cent of the area median income are eligible. Repairs must improve health or safety, and can include projects such as "roof replacement; septic system repair; repair or replacement of rotted flooring or stairs; plumbing repairs; electrical repairs; deteriorated structure repair; or accessibility modifications, such as construction of wheelchair ramps," according to grant guidelines. Houses built before 1978 will also receive lead-based paint evaluation.

King County Housing Authority

Housing Repair and Weatherization

5200 Southcenter Blvd.

Suite 280

Tukwila, WA 98188

206-214-1240

kcha.org

City of Tallahassee

The City of Tallahassee, Florida, offers repair grants for low-income residents. The Emergency Home Repair grant program provides up to £6,500 to "improve the living conditions of income-based homeowners by removing health and safety hazards and/or architectural barriers," according to grant guidelines. Funds can be used for urgent home repair needs, energy retrofits and accessibility improvements. To qualify, applicants must make less than 50 per cent of the area median income. The city also offers grants of up to £1,625 to low-income homeowners who are in violation of city codes. Grant funds must be used to make repairs to bring homes into compliance with code regulations.

City of Tallahassee

435 North Macomb St.

Tallahassee, FL 32301

850-891-6500

talgov.com

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