Home Improvement Grants

Once you HAVE a home, there are times when you need to make major repairs, make your home handicapped accessible, winterize your home, or possibly add more energy-efficient systems. The great news is that there are plenty of grant programs for these activities. Take a careful look at the listings in this chapter, and be sure to apply for the grants that meet your situation and needs.

All States

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street SW
Washington DC 0410
Web Site: http://www.hud.gov
Phone: (202) 708-1112
TTY: (202) 708-1455
Description: "HUD awards grants to organizations and groups for a variety of purposes." Please contact the organization for more information.

Nurse's House Financial Assistance
2113 Western Avenue, Suite 2
Guilderland NY 2084
Web Site: http://www.nurseshouse.org
Phone: (518) 456-7858
Fax: (518) 452-3760
Description: Nurse's House provides short term assistance to registered nurses facing financial hardship as the result of an injury, illness, or disability.

Disabled Veteran's Home Accessibility Grants
Web Site: http://www.homeloans.va.gov/sah.htm
Toll Free: (800) 827-1000
Description: Grants to provide home improvement funds to make homes handicapped accessible. For more information, please contact your local Veterans Affairs Office.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Campaign for Home Energy Assistance
1615 L Street NW, Suite 520
Washington DC 0036
Web Site: http://www.liheap.org/
Phone: (202) 429-8855
Fax: (202) 429-8857
Description: The Campaign for Home Energy Assistance will point you in the direction of a number of programs that can help those in need get low or no cost energy for their homes.

Energy Assistance Programs for Low Income Families
Citizens Energy Resources Division
District of Columbia Energy Office
2000 14th St. NW
Washington DC 0001
Phone: (202) 673-6727
Fax: (202) 673-6725
Fuel URL: http://www.dcenergy.org/programs/fuel.htm
Low Income URL: http://neaap.ncat.org/programs/lowincome/dc-li.htm
Public Inquiries: 202-673-6750 or 6700
Contact: Mr. Richard Kirby, LIHEAP Director
Description: Discounts are provided for low income individuals and families; charitable assistance in paying heating bills is also granted through the Salvation Army.

Veterans Housing-Guaranteed and Insured VA Home Loans
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington DC 0420
Web Site: http://www.va.gov
Phone: (202) 273-7390
Description: Interest subsidies, tax breaks, to buy, construct, repair homes, mobile homes, condominium units.

Specially Adapted Homes for Disabled Veterans
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington DC 0011
Web Site: http://www.va.gov
Phone: (800) 827-1000
Description: To provide financial assistance to certain disabled veterans for a home specially adapted to their needs. Veterans must be entitled to compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability.

Crouched Mountain Foundation
221 Great Oaks Blvd.
Albany NY 2203
Web Site: http://www.cmf.org/CommunityPartnership/
Toll Free: (888) 586-3061
Description: "The mission of Crotched Mountain Community Care is to promote, encourage, and sponsor charitable health care, creative housing options, care managed home care, and related services to elderly and other challenged persons in the community." They offer funding to individuals in certain areas.

AmeriDream Inc.
18310 Montgomery Village Ave., Third Floor
Gaithersburg MD 0879
Web Site: http://www.ameridream.org/
Phone: (301) 977-9133
Toll Free: (866) 263-7437
Description: "Through down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs, AmeriDream, Inc. expands affordable housing opportunities not only to first-time homebuyers but to all low- and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to achieve homeownership. Additionally, as a non-profit organization, AmeriDream works to promote the value of homeownership as a strong foundation that supports lasting communities and individual prosperity." They also have programs for home improvement.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W. Washington DC 0410
Web Site: http://www.hud.gov/
Phone: (202) 708-1112
Description: They offer programs for individuals to buy homes, get down payment money, home improvement money, get out of foreclosure, and much more.

Habitat for Humanity International
121 Habitat St.
Americus GA 1709-3498
Web Site: http://www.habitat.org/
Toll Free: (800) 422-4828
Application: http://www.habitat.org/getinv/contact.html
Description: They offer houses for sale with zero-interest loans if the family is willing to help build and rehabilitate homes on a volunteer basis.

Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
1325 G St., NW, Suite 800
Washington DC 0005-3100
Web Site: http://www.nw.org/network/utilities/NWOLookup.asp
Phone: (202) 220-2300
Fax: (202) 376-2600
Description: They offer affordable housing solutions to low income families to buy their own home, rehabilitate their home, or rent an affordable dwelling. They also offer community initiatives to create better housing opportunities.

Focus On Energy
Web Site: http://www.wifocusonenergy.com
Toll Free: (800) 762-7077
Description: They offer grants to individuals, businesses, organizations, and institutions to install and use cleaner and cheaper sources of energy. In addition, Focus on Energy offers loans up to $20,000 to individuals and a cash back program. They only have a phone number for contacting them, so call or see their website for more information.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Web Site: http://www.homeloans.va.gov/sah.htm
Description: "There are two types of grants administered by VA which are available to assist severely disabled veterans in adapting housing to their special needs." They will grant money to rehab your home, or buy you or build you a new home that meets your needs.

Weatherization Assistance Program
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington DC 0585-0121
Description: They offer grants for home weatherization.

Web Site: http://www.disabilityinfo.gov
Description: They have many different programs for disabled people, like housing assistance, transportation, education, employment, and more. They have a location finder on their website so you can find the office nearest to you.

The Rural Housing Service
Web Site: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/common/indiv_intro.htm
Description: "The Rural Housing Service provides a number of homeownership opportunities to rural Americans, as well as programs for home renovation and repair. RHS also makes financing available to elderly, disabled, or low-income rural residents of multi-unit housing buildings to ensure they are able to make rent payments." Check out their website for a location near you.

Weatherization Assistance Programs Branch, EE44
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington DC 0585
Phone: (202) 586-4074
Toll Free: (800) DIAL-DOE
Description: If you meet certain income guidelines, you may be allotted money to insulate your home or apartment, put in storm windows, and even pay for weatherstripping, which can all reduce your fuel bill. Each year states give money to nonprofit organizations that provide these kinds of services. Families with senior citizens living in their homes or young children take priority when it comes to these grants, which average about $2,000.

Community Connections
P.O. Box 7189
Gaithersburg MD 0898
Web Site: http://www.comcon.org/
Toll Free: (800) 998-9999
Description: If money is needed to install wheelchair ramps or to widen doorways so they are wheelchair accessible … or even if your elderly father needs a new roof … there is a free money program that awards grants starting from $1,000 to seniors who need to fix their homes. This money comes from the HOME Repair/Modification Programs for Elderly Homeowners.


Alabama Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for the Blind
Alabama Department of Revenue
50 North Ripley
Montgomery AL 6132
Application: http://www.licensemobile.com/forms/TG026.PDF
Attn: Ad Valorem Tax Division
Description: To exempt residents who are legally blind from a portion of ad valorem property.


Arizona Utility Assistance Program
Web Site: http://www.de.state.az.us/csa/programs/uap/default.asp
Phone: (602) 542-6600
Toll Free: (800) 582-5706
Fax: (602) 542-6655
Contact: Vicki Chambers, Program Specialist
Description: "CSA develops, funds, and implements programs, services, and projects that help at-risk individuals and families by utilizing provider partnerships and networks. In addition, CSA coordinates with a variety of statewide networks, e.g., hunger, homeless, domestic violence, utility assistance, community action, and refugee resettlement, to ensure integrated services."

Short-term Crisis Services (emergency assistance to help with housing costs, utilities, special needs)
Web Site: http://www.de.state.az.us/csa/programs/stcs/default.asp
Phone: (602) 542-6600
Contact: Mary Ellen Kane, Program Specialist
Description: "Provides temporary assistance to low-income households experiencing an emergency situation. Services are provided to assist the household in temporarily stabilizing the crisis. Through contracts with community providers, federal and state funds are used to provide assistance with utilities, shelter, repairs and special needs. Shelter assistance may be in the form of shelter in a facility, rent or mortgage payments."

Utility and Telephone discount programs
Web Site: http://www.de.state.az.us/csa/programs/utdp/default.asp
Phone: (602) 542-6600
Fax: (602) 542-6655
Contact: Estella Tapia, Energy Programs Specialist
Description: "The state, utility companies and cooperatives have programs to allow low-income households an opportunity to obtain a discount on their utility or telephone bills. There are currently three telephone assistance or discount programs for low-income individuals. The Community Services Administration (CSA) administers these programs which provide full payment of a basic phone line if the household is medically needy, a 17% discount if the household has an adult over age 65 or the Lifeline program which allows for a $5.25 discount for households on public assistance. Four of the major utility companies in Arizona also offer a percentage discount on the utility bills based on usage or other criteria. The discounts range from 10 to 30% of the bill."


California Energy Commission
Energy Call Center
1516 Ninth Street, MS-29
Sacramento CA 5814
Web Site: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org
Toll Free: (800) 555-7794
Description: The California Energy Commission offers individuals and small businesses discounts if they purchase an air conditioning or heating system that meets their standards for "emerging renewable technologies."

Solar Technologies
Web Site: http://www.solartechnologies.com/Incentives.htm
Description: Homeowners and businesses in California can get rebates of up to 50% of the cost of a solar energy system for their house. See their website for more information.


The Needmor Fund
1840 Folsom Street, Suite 110
Boulder CO 0302
Phone: (419) 255-5560
Description: Seed money, technical assistance, general purposes, operating budgets for projects designed to empower disadvantaged populations. Emphasis on grassroots, member-controlled organizations with realistic strategies and goals. Funding interest includes the environment, agriculture, rural development, housing, community development and minority populations.


Energy Assistance Foundation
P.O. Box 1758
Decatur IL 2525
Web Site: http://www.illinoispower.com
Toll Free: (800) 755-5000
Description: "Grants to elderly and disabled individuals for home weatherization and heating bill payment assistance to individuals who reside within Illinois Power's service territory."

Illinois Energy
100 W. Randolph, Suite 3-400
Chicago IL 0601
Web Site: http://www.illinoisbiz.biz/com/energy/homeowner.html
Phone: (312) 814-7179
Description: They offer grants for energy assistance, home weatherization, and for clean energy systems in new construction.

Resurrection Project
1818 South Paulina
Chicago IL 0608
Web Site: http://www.resurrectionproject.or
Description: They offer seniors grants for home improvement in the Chicago area.


Kentucky Housing Corporation
1231 Louisville Road
Frankfort KY 0601
Web Site: http://www.kyhousing.org
Phone: (502) 564-7630
Description: Grants to rural elderly to install indoor plumbing, and energy repairs. Write for guidelines.


City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development
26 Court St.
Boston MA 2108
Web Site: http://www.cityofboston.gov/dnd/A_HomeWorks.asp
Phone: (617) 635-3880
Fax: (617) 635-0561
Description: "HomeWorks offers conditional grants for 1/3 of the total cost of certain home improvements, up to a maximum of $3,000 or $4,000 if you paint the exterior of your house. HomeWorks conditional grants can be used for just about any home improvement, i.e., update your kitchen or bath, install new windows, replace old boilers, fix rickety porches, just to name a few. To receive the grant, you must obtain the matching funds that are needed to complete your project."

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
75 North Drive
Westborough MA 1581
Web Site: http://www.mtpc.org/Grants_and_Awards/grant_dollars.htm
Phone: (508) 870-0312
Fax: (508) 898-2275
Description: Homeowners can get grants and rebates for installing solar energy systems in their homes. They also offer grants to schools and organizations for these energy systems.


Michigan Family Independence Agency
P.O. Box 30037
Lansing MI 8909
Web Site: http://www.michigan.gov/fia/0,1607,7-124-5453_5531-18245--,00.html
Phone: (517) 373-2035
Fax: (517) 335-6101
Description: They offer grants to people to help with mortgage payments, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and more.


St. Louis Sewer District Low-Income Assistance Program
2350 Market Street
St. Louis MO 3103
Web Site: http://www.msd.st-louis.mo.us/billing/PayBill/LowIncomeAssist.htm
Phone: (314) 768-6260
Description: Financial assistance is offered to low income customers in the St. Louis area in the form of discounts.

New Mexico

New Mexico State Housing Authority
Region VI Housing Authority
226 North Main, Suite 301
P.O. Drawer 2057
Roswell NM 8202
Web Site: http://www.r6ha.org
Phone: (505) 622-0881
Fax: (505) 622-7507
Description: Rehabilitation grants for low-income elderly, handicapped, and disabled homeowners. Write for guidelines.

North Carolina

Tarboro Community Outreach, Inc.
701 Cedar Ln.
P.O. Box 445
Tarboro NC 7886-0445
Description: "The Tarboro Community Outreach program gives grants to residents of Edgecombe County, NC, to pay for utility bills, rent, and prescription drugs. They also give support to people in need of food, counseling, or shelter."

South Carolina

South Carolina Homestead Exemption Program
South Carolina Comptroller General
Local Government Division
P.O. Box 11228
Columbia SC 8211
Web Site: http://www.co.beaufort.sc.us/auditor/homestead.asp
Description: South Carolinians who own a house or mobile home are eligible for this exemption if they are aged 65 or older, totally and permanently disabled or legally blind. Spouses of deceased persons who were eligible also qualify to receive the exemption if they were at least 50 years of age when their spouse died. The exemption continues as long as the homeowners live in their primary residence in South Carolina.


Texas Home of Your Own Program
Toll Free: (800) 988-HOYO
Description: They provide down payment assistance and help with making housing accessible for people with disabilities. Call or go to their website for a location near you.


Real Estate Tax Relief Program
City of Alexandria
301 King Street
Alexandria VA 2314
Web Site: http://ci.alexandria.va.us/finance/rea_tax_relief.html
Description: They offer anywhere from 25% to 100% discount on property taxes for seniors and disabled people who qualify.


Whatcom Community Foundation
119 Grand Avenue, Suite A
Bellingham WA 8225
Web Site: http://www.nas.com/~wcf
Phone: (360) 671-6463
Fax: (360) 671-6437
Description: Grants to financially needy individuals who have lived in Whatcom County, WA for two years, for rent, food, utilities, medical care, and clothing. Completion of formal application required. Interview required. Call for guidelines.

West Virginia

West Virginia Homestead Exemption
Department of Tax and Revenue
1206 Quarrier Street
Charleston WV 5301
Web Site: http://www.apbook.com/west_virginia.htm
Phone: (304) 558-2051
Attn: Taxpayer Services Division
Description: To provide a partial exemption of property taxes on residences owned by disabled or elderly persons and retired veterans in West Virginia. Eligible for this exemption are single-family residences owned and occupied by any person who is permanently and totally disabled or at least 65 years old. Applicants must have been West Virginia residents for 2 consecutive calendar years prior to the tax year to which the exemption relates. Members of the U.S. military forces who maintain West Virginia as state of residence throughout military service and return to the state to purchase a homestead upon retirement or separation from the military because of permanent and total disability are considered to meet the residency requirement and also qualify for this exemption.


Wisconsin Renewable Energy Rewards
Web Site: http://www.focusonenergy.com/page.jsp?pageId=904
Toll Free: (800) 762-7077
Description: Residents of Wisconsin interested in the benefits of solar electric, solar water heating, or wind electric systems can contact Focus on Energy for more information about cost-saving programs.

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