Learn About Government Housing Grants

Many qualifying low-income families and individuals can take part in a multitude of government grant programs.

This is especially true for households that are already receiving certain kinds of assistance.

Residents receiving assistance from government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Medicaid may qualify for other government grants.

This assistance programs are able to help many low-income families with paying household bills, education expenses and for other education opportunities.

What are government housing grants?

A government grant is financial assistance given to eligible residents. It is not necessary to repay it. Each different type of government grant comes with its own qualification requirements but they all usually have income requirements as well.

Most of these grants are reserved for low-income households. However, some grants require applicants to meet other eligibility criteria. For instance, some grant programs require applicants to meet specific family composition requirements or have a senior in the home.

Still yet, some grants will only be available after the declaration of a natural disaster by the president.

Do government housing grants need to be repaid?

Usually, it is not necessary to repay government grants. If the grant was not used for the purpose it was intended, then funds may need to be repaid. For instance, students who receive financial aid from the government must attend a minimum amount of classes to meet requirements.

Students who do not meet this minimum will have their grants changed to loans, and this aid would have to be repaid.

Learn About the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Residents can obtain assistance for heating and cooling their homes under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides financial assistance for heating or cooling bills, utility bills to prevent utility service shutdowns and certain home improvements for low-income families.

The improvements made to the home must be to make the home more energy efficient in order to lower overall utility costs. Making these types of improvements is called weatherization. While LIHEAP assistance cannot be used for water or sewage costs, it can help many residents by reducing or eliminating their electricity and heating costs.

LIHEAP eligibility requirements typically vary state and sometimes even by county. However, eligibility is generally based on income or if a household is already receiving other types of assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8).

Households who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program may even be able to receive LIHEAP assistance to pay for a portion of eligible utility costs.

Interested residents should go to their nearest LIHEAP office to complete and submit their application. Applicants should apply for LIHEAP assistance as soon as they need it because few households who qualify for aid actually receive it.

Only about 20 percent of applicants receive assistance from LIHEAP. This is because only a limited amount of funds are granted to the program each year.

Thus, once funding runs out, LIHEAP must wait for Congress to approve more funding.

Learn About the Individuals and Households Program (IHP)

The Individuals and Households Program (IHP) is a disaster-related grant provided by the Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA). This program goes into effect after the president makes a declaration of a natural disaster. Then, families can become eligible for disaster assistance and grants.

Households that are eligible to receive these grants can be utilized to repair or replace their damaged residences or obtain temporary housing. In order to qualify for IHP, applicants must be citizens of the United States or qualified non-citizens. In addition, they must:

  • Have experienced a loss in an area that was declared as a disaster zone by the president of the United States.
  • Have a property that is their primary residence that sustained damages due to the natural disaster.
  • Be unable to live in or access their current primary residence.
  • Not have or do not have sufficient insurance coverage for the damages sustained to the property.

Americans who need IHP assistance will have to contact FEMA for applicant instructions.

Learn About the Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Grant

Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation is grant program provided the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These grants are primarily for very low-income families with at least one senior citizen.

Families must also not be able to repay a Section 504 loan. These grants are for homes that are in rural areas as determined by the USDA.

A Section 504 grant can be used toward home improvements and repairs. Beneficiaries typically receive $7,500 in assistance. However, accepted applicants are only able to use the funds to make certain types of repairs.

Acceptable repairs and improvements are those that eliminate health or safety hazards or make the dwelling more accessible to disabled members in the household.

Residents who are interested in receiving assistance from the Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation program can apply at their nearest USDA office. Applicants’ eligibility is determined by their citizenship status, income, necessary repairs and improvements, household makeup and whether the applicant owns the home.

Learn About Financial Aid for Low-Income Students

Low-income families seeking financial assistance for higher education may be able to qualify for government grants. There are numerous financial aid grants available. Eligibility requirements typically include:

  • Demonstrated financial need.
  • Acceptance into an eligible degree or certificate program.
  • United States citizenship or eligible non-citizen status.
  • Maintenance of academic progress.
  • Good standing with federal student loans.

Furthermore, certain grants require applicants to be working toward a specific type of degree or to attend certain types of classes. For instance, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants are only available to students intending to become teachers in a high demand field.

Furthermore, recipients of the TEACH grant must agree to complete other requirements such as completing their four academic years within eight years after completing their higher education. They must teach at an elementary school, secondary school or education service agency after they complete their education.

Students seeking financial assistance must complete and submit and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the yearly deadline. They must do so on time.

After application, their need for financial aid will be reviewed along with the types of financial aid they will qualified for.

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