Home renovation grants are a great resource for completing essential home improvement projects. The grants available to a homeowner will be dependent on his or her income level, disability status, and regional location. For those homeowners that do not qualify for a grant, low interest loans may be available from housing agencies.
Home Renovations that Qualify for Grants
Grants available for home renovation are usually earmarked for making improvements to a residence so it meets current building codes. Grant allotments are also available to alter a home to accommodate a disabled occupant. Energy efficient home renovations are increasingly also qualifying for government funds. In general, however, it is difficult to find grants to make cosmetic improvements or expand an existing residence.
Sources for Home Renovation Grants
There are a variety of renovation grants available from different levels of government. While many homeowners may look for federal grants, they should not overlook state and local grants as well, which may have more lenient requirements.
Most federal renovation grants are only available to homeowners existing below the poverty line, those who have significant disabilities, or those that are elderly. Regardless of your inclusion in one of these groups, contacting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is an excellent way to find out the grants available to you.
Many state grants focus on stabilizing poorer communities by offering money for needed repairs. They may also offer grants to wealthier homeowners who are willing to update their homes to reflect stricter energy standards.
Home improvement grants in New Jersey, for example, are available for foundation and roof repairs, structural repairs, and plumbing and septic system updates. These grants are usually only available to impoverished homeowners.
Cities and municipalities sometimes offer grants for specific home improvement projects. These grants almost always encourage homeowners to do something that benefits the town overall. A desert community, for example, might offer grants to homeowners willing to undertake renovations to reduce their water and energy usage. Check with the local government for any type of incentive.
Historical House Grants
If you are lucky enough to own a historic house, you may be able to take advantage of grant money earmarked to preserve historic sites. Contact your local historical society for information about any grants in the area. Before accepting any funds, be sure to research any stipulations carefully. Some grants will not allow any exterior home renovations that do not meet strict historical accuracy standards.
Tax rebates are clearly not home renovation grants, but they can be an easy way for higher income level homeowners to save during a project. Most tax rebates are obtained at the state and federal level for energy efficient home improvements. Common qualifying improvements include replacing inefficient air conditioners or installing new windows. Outdoor improvements should also not be overlooked: removing grass and replacing it with rock or other xeriscaping can earn a homeowner a tax rebate in some desert communities.
Careful research can uncover grant opportunities that might otherwise be overlooked. While fee based services might promise results, inquiring about grants through government agencies and contacting non-profit housing organizations for information will yield the same information.