Free Grants for California Home Repair & Improvements

The federal government does not provide grants directly to individuals or homeowners. California departments or agencies do not either.

However, many home improvement and repair assistance programs receive grant money to help low-income families, seniors, veterans, and victims of natural disasters (mudslides, wildfires, etc.).

Therefore, you must apply for benefits at the recipient agencies or the private contractors they designate to qualify households, assess needs, and complete the work.

As with most public benefits, no single resource solves every problem. Therefore, we organized the article by government programs, people eligible, and qualifying projects to surface as many possibilities as possible for our readers.

Government Grants in CA

Because government agencies have the deepest pockets, they are the logical place for California residents to turn for free home repair or improvement grants.

However, no government agency offers grants directly to individuals. You must follow the money flow from federal agencies to state departments and county offices and apply for benefits at the appropriate end-point.

Federal Programs

First, you should become familiar with the federal programs offering free home improvement opportunities to qualified California residents. The funding flows from the national level to the state, where you should apply for assistance.

Weatherization Assistance

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) administered by the federal Department of Energy is the primary vehicle backing free home improvement grants in California, which manifest as benefits.

Apply for WAP benefits by contacting your local energy services provider. You may receive home energy efficiency upgrades or health and safety improvements at no cost if eligible.

  • Windows and doors
  • HVAC equipment
    • Heating
    • Cooling
  • Water heaters
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Household appliances


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, is a secondary initiative offering free home repair grants to California residents, manifesting as benefits.

Apply for LIHEAP benefits by contacting your local energy services provider. You may receive energy efficiency upgrades (heating and cooling equipment) at no cost if eligible. Also, you may get support with utility bills.

IRA Rebates

The federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes two distinct home improvement grants available to low-income California residents as rebates (HOMES & HEERA). Rebates refund a portion of the purchase price of qualifying upgrades.

The two IRA rebates should be available soon as state agencies work to roll out the benefits through private-sector partners (contractors and retailers). 

HEEHRA Rebates

The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate (HEEHRA) program provides point-of-sale rebates of up to $14,000 towards purchasing and installing Energy Star-qualifying appliances and equipment.

HOMES Rebates

The Homeowner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) rebate provides up to $8,000 in government-funded discounts for efficiency upgrades, which are predicted to save at least 20% of the building’s gas and electricity usage.  

Tax Savings

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a federal agency offering free home improvement grants using tax savings, which California residents can claim if they have a tax liability.

Efficiency Credit

Claim the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit (EEHIC) if you completed a qualifying project during a tax year. Spread the work over the years to maximize the amount you might get back from the IRS.

  • $1,200 for energy property costs with limits
    • $500: exterior doors
    • $600: replacement windows
    • $150: energy audits
  • $2,000 per year for qualified heat pumps, biomass stoves, or biomass boilers
Medical Deductions

Claim Home Improvements as a medical expense deduction if their primary purpose is health care for you, your spouse, or your dependent and the project does not increase the property value.

  • Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home
  • Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home
  • Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms
  • Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment

$10,000 Grant

Senior citizens living in rural areas of California may qualify for a $10,000 grant for home improvement. In other words, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco residents will not be eligible for this free money funded by the federal Department of Agriculture.

Apply for Section 504 by completing Form RD 410-4. You can use the assistance to modernize your residence or remove health and safety hazards.

  • $40,000 Loan: Improve any aspect of your home
  • $10,000 Grant: Remove health and safety hazards only

Disaster Assistance

The federal government provides free home repair and improvement grants to California residents victimized by natural disasters (flooding, mudslides, landslides, wildfires, etc.) through FEMA and a lesser-known program run by the Department of Agriculture.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides financial assistance to California property owners to repair disaster-caused damage to their primary residence not covered by property insurance.

Apply for FEMA disaster assistance online after filing claims with your insurance companies (if applicable).

  • Homeowners insurance claims for wind damage
  • Flood insurance claims for water destruction

FEMA can help with various mitigation efforts to make your home safe, sanitary, and livable. This assistance may fund roof, furnace, water heater, or central electrical panel repairs.

  1. Register online or call 844-833-1010
  2. Complete the application if eligible
  3. Schedule a home damage assessment
  4. Sign the grant agreement if selected
  5. Repair, rebuild, or replace through contractors
$40,000 Grant

Californians living in a presidentially declared disaster area may be eligible for a grant of up to $40,675. Only very low-income families may qualify for this free government funding from the federal Department of Agriculture.

Apply for rural disaster home repair grants by contacting a USDA home loan specialist in your area. If approved, you can use the funding in three ways.

  1. Disaster-related home repair expenses
  2. Site preparation
  3. Manufactured home transfer costs

State Programs

The California State government funds and implements various home improvement grant opportunities. These efforts supplement or fulfill the federal programs addressed in the previous section.  

Recipient Directory

California homeowners can utilize the government home repair grants noted in both sections by contacting the appropriate agency in the Golden State.

The California Department of Community Services & Development makes finding help through an online directory easier. Type in your zip code to find a listing of local agencies disbursing grant money across several categories.

  • Home energy efficiency (WAP & LIHEAP)
  • Migrant and seasonal farmworkers
  • Native American Indians


The California Low-Income Weatherization Program provides home improvement grants to farmworkers and operators of multi-family dwelling units. The state funds LIWP.

The no-cost energy-efficiency measures include the following.

  • Insulation
  • Central Heating and Cooling System Upgrades
  • Washers, Dryers, Refrigerators and Freezers
  • Lighting Upgrades
  • Water Heater Replacement
  • Window Replacement
  • Rooftop Solar PV Systems

Apply for LIWP by contacting the agency responsible for each component.

  • Farmworkers: Contact La Cooperativa Campesina de California or MAROMA Energy Services at (833) 367-5497
  • Multi-Family Operators: Contact the Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. at (510) 831-6820

Block Grants

The State of California receives Community Development Block Grants from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. This money flows to county and city agencies, which allocate a portion towards free home repair for low-income families.

Contact the appropriate resource in your area to see if they can assist.


Two California-run programs help low-income families replace residential HVAC equipment by lowering gas and electric costs.

Apply for CARE or FERA assistance by contacting your residence’s utility company. Lowering monthly energy costs makes financing through GoGreen more viable. (See below).

  • California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE: 200% of FPL)
    • 30-35 percent discount on their electric bill
    • 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill
  • Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA: 250% of FPL)
    • 18% discount on their electricity bill


GoGreen is the public-facing platform of the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF), which provides credit enhancement that enables private lenders to offer more attractive terms for specified projects.

  • Approve more borrowers
  • Lower interest rates
  • Larger principal amounts
  • Longer repayment periods

Start a GoGreen home energy improvement by taking four steps.

  1. Get a project estimate from a contractor
  2. Choose an approved lender and apply for financing
  3. Receive lender confirmation to start your project
  4. Sign loan closing documents

Golden State Rebates

Specific gas and electricity customers fund the Golden State Rebates program through the California Public Utilities Commission. The rebates lower the purchase cost of energy-saving equipment such as smart thermostats, water heaters, and air conditioners.

Get Golden State Rebates coupons by completing an online form to create an account. Download the coupons and bring them to the local retailer that you designate.

Los Angeles DPW

The Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADPW) provides rebates and other incentives to help residential customers save energy, water, and money by making specific home repairs or improvements.

Explore the numerous LADPW rebate opportunities associated with the specified upgrades initiated by consumers. You might find similar programs in your city.

  • Water Conservation Measures
    • Turf transformation
    • Low-flow toilets and showers
    • Leak detection
  • Energy-Efficient Investments
    • HVAC equipment
    • Roof replacement
    • Window replacement
    • Pool pumps
    • Light bulbs

People Eligible In CA

Studying the people most likely eligible for home improvement grants in California might surface opportunities you might otherwise overlook. The government often emphasizes equity, helping disadvantaged individuals. 


Low-income families frequently qualify for government home improvement grants in California when they live below a specified percentage of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which has two elements.

  1. Projected Modified Adjusted Gross Income of the household
  2. Expected number of household members in the current tax year

Free home repair for low-income families hinges on FPL, which has two components. The rules can be tricky to follow, and you do not want to disqualify yourself by making avoidable errors.

  • Avoid overstating income: Report your projected (not past) Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI), which excludes child support, some alimony payments, and other sources.
  • Avoid understating household size: Count the tax filer, spouse, and dependent children (including any unborn children if the mom is pregnant) based on how you plan to file next year.

Senior Citizens

Senior citizens in California are often eligible for government home improvement grants because their fixed retirement benefits place them in the low-income category, and at least one program serves those over 60.

Free home repair for senior citizens comes from various sources rather than one agency or program. Older adults have numerous opportunities to find assistance from charitable organizations, churches, Medicare Advantage Plans, and more.

Of course, the Section 504 program provides $10,000 grants to seniors living in rural areas to address health and safety issues such as removing trip hazards or enhancing air quality.

Disabled Individuals

California residents with disabilities frequently qualify for government home improvement grants because the meager monthly benefit means they meet the low-income criteria for many programs.

Free home repair for people with disabilities comes primarily through government programs using a percentage of FPL as the first test. However, they still must show a positive Savings-to-Investment Ratio (SIR) on any proposed project. 

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients paid FICA taxes while working and often meet the income test because of the small average monthly benefit.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients automatically meet the low-income criteria for many government programs as they have few countable resources and minuscule monthly benefits.

Military Veterans

Veterans in California with service-related disabilities often qualify for free home improvement grants. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funds needed changes to living environments, such as ramps, walkways, handrails, grab bars, sliding doors, and other modifications.

Apply for service disability grants through the VA to determine eligibility.

  • Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants help recipients live independently in a barrier-free environment.
  • Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants help recipients with specific service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a residence to accommodate the impairment.
  • Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grants help recipients modify a house owned by a family member.
  • Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant provides medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to primary residences.

Projects Eligible In CA

Studying the projects most likely eligible for free home improvement grants in California might surface additional opportunities you might otherwise overlook. The federal government often emphasizes two pertinent objectives.

  1. Energy efficiency to protect the environment
  2. Health and safety remediation efforts

Window Replacement

California has at least three free window replacement programs funded by the government for residents of all ages, and four, if you include senior citizens living in rural areas.

Combine the federal window replacement programs targeting energy efficiency or health and safety issues to whittle your costs down as low as possible.

  1. WAP covers window costs when the Savings-to-Investment ratio meets specified thresholds
  2. HOMES Rebates of up to $8,000 might be available in the future for window replacements meeting specified standards
  3. EEIC Tax Credit of $600 annually takes a bite out of window installation costs
  4. Section 504 grants of $10,000 might apply to window replacements that address health and safety issues for seniors living in rural areas

In Los Angeles, the LADPW offers rebates of $2 per square foot for replacement windows, glass, and skylights meeting Energy Star standards. (See above).

Roof Replacement

Roof replacement assistance in California derives from federal and state-level programs. Residents’ ability to qualify depends on the criteria established by the administering agency.

Free roof replacement grants come via the narrowly defined government programs described above. Apply for the roof replacement assistance opportunities that best match your situation.

  • Weatherization Assistance (WAP): Improves energy efficiency for low-income families
  • Section 504: Low-income seniors addressing safety hazards
  • IRA HOMES Rebates: might subsidize up to $8,000 of the cost of cool roof shingles that reflect sunlight in warm regions like Southern California
  • The Los Angeles DPW: rebates up to $.60 per square foot for the installation of shingles meeting the Solar Reflective Index as rated by the Cool Roofing Council.

HVAC Equipment

Californians have several ways to get assistance upgrading or replacing HVAC equipment (furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning units) because the energy savings are often significant.

Free air conditioning units and furnaces might be available through the grant sub-recipients in your local area, plus other relevant programs.

  • Weatherization Assistance (WAP): Install energy-efficient HVAC equipment to reduce gas and electricity usage
  • Section 504: Low-income seniors addressing safety hazards
  • IRA HEEHRA Rebates: might subsidize up to $14,000 of the cost of energy-efficient HVAC upgrades
  • Los Angeles DPW: offers rebates for purchases of energy-efficient cooling equipment: air conditioning, heat pumps, whole house fans