What are your options if you can’t afford a roof repair or replacement and don’t qualify for a loan?
Free government grants could make your project more budget-friendly. This post will teach you how to get these services at no cost.
Learn about eight programs, including application processes, eligibility requirements, and other relevant criteria.
Next, discover unique regional initiatives administered by state agencies. Identify initiatives in coastal regions protecting homes from severe weather.
Find out how low-income families, disabled individuals, senior citizens, and military veterans can qualify for these benefits and other opportunities.
Free Roof Replacement: Government Grants
Several factors pertain nationwide to the free roofing services government agencies provide.
- Three programs offer federal money to homeowners or businesses through direct grants.
- Five programs offer federal funding to state agencies that provide benefits as grant recipients.
- Repairs (more affordable) are more accessible than replacements (more expensive).
Read through this listing of home improvement assistance opportunities. If you might qualify, follow the links to apply for help.
- Free Roof Replacement: Government Grants
- Free Roof Replacement Eligibility Criteria
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) offers government grants to localized agencies and designated contractors to fund free roof repair before a recommended wall and attic insulation project. The Department of Energy administers WAP.
Apply for WAP roof repair assistance by following several steps.
- Get the contact information for your local agency. Your state could have a single online application; others will refer you to a list of participating organizations.
- Complete the application process by providing proof of income from the previous year and household size.
- Prepare to have a state-approved provider send a representative to your home to perform an energy audit.
Applicants qualify for WAP-enabled roof repair services if they meet the income criteria, the home energy audit prioritizes the project over other improvements, and the inspector notices significant damage.
Low-income families may qualify for free WAP services if they live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).FPL has two components.
- Modified Adjusted Gross Income: do not overstate
- Number of Household Members: do not understate
The savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) prioritizes projects based on the modeled energy savings compared to cost. The WAP home audit must recommend roof repair before wall and attic insulation over other improvements.
|Mechanical||Health & Safety||Building Shell||Electric Baseload|
|Heating and cooling systems||Combustion appliance safety testing||Air sealing||Motor controls|
|Duct and pipe insulation||Vent systems||Drafty windows & doors||Efficient light sources|
|Programmable thermostats||Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors||Aperture film, solar screens, louvers, and awnings||Refrigerators and freezers|
|Water heaters||Safety repairs as needed||Exterior wall leaks|
Suppose the WAP home audit inspector notes signs of significant roof damage. In that case, the contractor might recommend fixing the issues before installing attic and wall insulation to save energy.
|Missing shingles||Water stains||Rotting attic wood|
|Granules by downspouts||Visible sagging||Moss spores|
|Curled flashing||Animal infestation||Leaks in vent seams|
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides roof repair grants less frequently because its primary mission is to minimize home utility bills, while weatherization is a secondary objective.
LIHEAP, run by the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), sends block grants to each state. Then, state agencies allocate the money to local providers to administer the free program.
To apply for LIHEAP roof repair services, contact a certified contractor near your home. Follow these steps outlined by HHS.
- Enter your state into the dropdown menu
- Select the county of your current resident
- Click on the yellow dot closest to your location
- Contact the state-approved provider to see if you qualify
The LIHEAP Clearinghouse Report outlines the criteria for qualifying for free roof repair. Each state determines household income limits and which energy-saving upgrades to support.
- Income Limits
- Federal Poverty Level (FPL): 130-200%
- State Median Income (SMI): 60%
- Roofing Projects
- Apply reflective shingle coating: 50 states
- Energy-related repair before insulation: 39 states
Section 504 Grant
Seniors can receive free roof replacement through Section 504 direct grants of up to $10,000 if the project addresses health and safety hazards. For instance, leaks causing black mold are a health hazard and should be eligible.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Section 504 program.
Section 504 Application
To apply for free roof replacement through Section 504, contact the rural development office in your state and complete the single-family repair application and other relevant forms if required.
Section 504 Eligibility
Applicants must meet several criteria to be eligible for Section 504 funding to replace their sagging, wrinkling, leaky roof.
- Be age 62 or older
- Be the homeowner and occupy the house
- Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
- Have a household income that does not exceed the very low limit by county
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) directly offers free roof replacement grants. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers REAP, assisting small businesses and food producers in flyover country.
REAP will only approve existing improvements necessary to support the installation of solar panels structurally.
To apply for free roof replacement through REAP, contact the energy coordinator for rural development in your state before filling out any forms. The extra step will help you avoid unnecessary federal money delays.
Agricultural producers and small businesses in specific zip codes are eligible to replace roofs free using REAP funding.
- Agricultural producers are entities where at least 50% of gross income derives from growing crops or rearing animals
- Other enterprises must meet the Small Business Administration size standards per 13 CFR 121
- Eligible rural areas have populations of 50,000 residents or less
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Housing Improvement Program (HIP) offers roof replacement grants directly. HIP provides up to $60,000 to renovate dwellings to meet building code standards on tribal lands.
Apply for free roof replacement by contacting your state’s BIA regional housing office. Obtain Form 6407 and send the completed paperwork to your local tribal servicing office.
Applicants replacing roofs through the BIA Housing Improvement Program must meet several criteria to qualify for free services.
- Members of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native
- Live in an approved tribal service area
- Household income does not exceed 150% of poverty guidelines
- Have present housing that is substandard
- Have no other resource for housing assistance
The federal government offers free roof replacement grants directly to homeowners affected by natural disasters through two specified programs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers natural disaster victims help replacing or repairing roofs regardless of household income. The free FEMA money addresses damage not covered by insurance to make the primary residence safe and sanitary.
Apply for FEMA assistance online. FEMA may provide the following support for mitigation efforts.
- Replace damaged or destroyed asphalt shingles with materials that can withstand wind speeds up to 116 miles per hour.
- Install heavier rubberized membrane and thicker sheathing material to prevent interior water damage during storms.
The USDA provides free money to low-income rural residents through SFHRDHR for home repairs after natural disasters. SFHRDHR stands for Single Family Housing Rural Disaster Home Repair Grants.
Replacing or repairing roofs is an acceptable use of the funds.
Apply for disaster assistance of up to $40,675 by contacting the USDA office in your state. To qualify, you must meet several strict criteria.
- The property must be in an eligible rural area
- Live in a presidentially declared natural disaster area
- Be the homeowner and occupy the residence
- Your adjusted gross income must fall within low limits
The Home Efficiency Rebate Program (HERP) introduced by the Inflation Reduction Act may offer roof replacement grants in the future. Your project must demonstrate sufficient electricity savings modeled in a home energy audit to qualify.
Each state must establish appropriate processes to distribute federal funding to eligible applicants in their jurisdictions.
Apply for HERP rebates at your state energy department once they become available. Most states have yet to establish a local framework at the time of this article’s publication.
The potential rebate size depends on your projected energy savings and household income. You might receive the lesser of a fixed amount or the percentage of project costs.
|Modeled Energy Savings||Higher Incomes||Lower Incomes|
|15-19.9%||$100 per % saved||50%||$200 per % saved||80%|
Roof repair and replacement rarely qualify for HERP rebates by themselves. You may need to expand the scope of your project to maximize the benefits.
The Cool Roof Rating Council measures two properties of materials.
- Solar Reflectance: the fraction of sunlight not absorbing
- Thermal Emittance: the ability of shingles to radiate heat
The rating council estimates that cool roofs can reduce air conditioning and electricity use by 7% to 15%, with variations by region (higher in the South, lower in the North). However, note that these estimates may barely meet the minimum qualifications.
Homeowners need a strategy to maximize HERP since a cool roof replacement is unlikely to yield the 35% energy savings necessary for the most significant rebates.
While shingles with reflective granules are one component of costs, your project may include other expensive materials that do not save energy.
|Decking or Sheathing |
>Oriented strand board
>Rafters & trusses
>Ice & Water Shield
|Extra Protection |
>Fascia & soffits
>Eaves & rakes
Expanding your project to include other green technologies and efficiency improvements can help reach the 35% energy savings threshold.
- Adding insulation to attic spaces and exterior walls
- Installing solar panels and battery banks
- Replacing HVAC equipment (A/C units and furnaces)
Efficiency Tax Credit
Homeowners can replace roofing shingles using the IRS-sponsored grant called EEHIC. The EEHIC equals 30% of the qualified project costs and can go up to $1,200 annually.
Complete IRS Form 5695 to claim the EEHIC. Consult your tax advisor. Of course, the credit does not benefit nearly 40% of households that pay zero federal income taxes.
Eligible metal and asphalt shingles that meet or exceed Energy Star requirements are eligible. Pigmented coatings or cooling granules reduce the heat gain in your home.
Homeowners can sometimes find additional government grants to fix or replace residential roofs through state-specific programs available only in specific regions, not nationwide.
District of Columbia
The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP) provides up to $20,000 in roof repair funding to low-income homeowners in the District of Columbia (Washington, DC).
Apply for SFRRP assistance by contacting one of the community-based organizations coordinating with the DC Department of Housing and Community Development.
The My Safe Home program provides roof-hardening assistance of up to $10,000 to low-income residents in Florida to protect their residences from driving wind and rain from future hurricanes.
Apply for My Safe Home benefits by scheduling a free hurricane preparedness inspection. The inspector will recommend specific strengthening measures.
The Pennsylvania Whole Home Repairs Program provides money to county-wide agencies to help them meet specific objectives.
- Address habitability and safety concerns
- Improve energy or water efficiency
- Enhance accessibility for individuals with disabilities
Apply for roof replacement assistance through the county agency participating in the Whole Home Repair Program.
Residents in hurricane-prone coastal areas may be eligible for free roof replacement funded by the insurance industry to fortify their homes before the next big storm. The eligibility criteria, benefits, and services vary by state.
- The Strengthen Alabama Home Program offers up to $10,000 to harden residences against severe storms, high winds, and wind-driven rain.
- The Louisiana Fortify Homes Program provides up to $10,000 for homeowners to upgrade to standards set by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
- The North Carolina Strengthen Your Roof Program offers up to $6,000 to homeowners in coastal areas such as the Outer Banks and barrier islands.
Free Roof Replacement Eligibility Criteria
Free roof replacement grants have strict eligibility requirements, with many government agencies prioritizing limited repairs over comprehensive restorations and using strict means-testing requirements.
We can provide examples of groups most likely to qualify while pointing to the primary alternatives for those ineligible.
- Installing solar panels simultaneously
- Taking out government-backed loans
The government prioritizes low-income families when distributing grant money to agencies supporting roof repair and replacement. Pay attention to details to avoid unnecessary denials when applying for free services.
Government means testing considers both income and household size!
- Communicate the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for the household, not the total earnings from everyone in your family. MAGI excludes many sources.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Gifts of cash
- Worker’s Compensation
- Veterans’ disability payments
- Child Tax Credit checks
- Report every qualified household member, including yourself, your spouse, and your tax dependents, to increase your qualification odds. Do not omit any viable dependents.
- Adopted or foster children
- Children under 21 you take care of
- Dependent parents and siblings
Free roof replacement for senior citizens is available through specific government programs, and non-profit charitable organizations expand opportunities.
- Elderly adults living on fixed retirement benefits often meet the low-income government criteria.
- The financial struggles and isolation associated with aging spur charitable organizations to help.
Non-profit organizations might step in where government programs leave off to help seniors with home repairs, such as addressing leaky gutters and shingles or rotted, sagging underlayment and rafters, as nobody likes seeing an older person climbing ladders.
However, the opportunities for assistance do not end with roofs. Seniors living in dilapidated older buildings often need help with home repairs and improvements. Resources for these projects are more abundant.
USDA Section 504 grants of up to $10,000 could easily support free roof replacement and repair for seniors, provided the project remediates health and safety hazards. For instance, leaks causing black mold are a health hazard and could be eligible.
Section 504 supports projects for very low-income adults over 62 living in designated rural areas. In other words, only seniors in rural qualify for this specific government program.
Free roof replacement for disabled individuals hinges on the low-income criteria for many government programs noted above.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients automatically meet the income cutoffs for WAP, LIHEAP, HERP, and other initiatives.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients frequently meet the income limits. The average monthly benefit of $1,400 is 125% of FPL, while WAP accepts 200%.
Some free home repair options for disabled individuals may not apply. For example, medical deductions to improve accessibility (widening entryways, lowering cabinets, installing grab bars, etc.) are unavailable. However, many charitable organizations dedicate resources to the community.
- Rebuilding Together
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Coalition for Home Repair
Former military service members should look outside the Veterans Administration (VA) for grants to replace or repair their roofs. Other government agencies and non-profit agencies are more likely to help.
- Veterans often have low incomes, allowing them to qualify for WAP, LIHEAP, HERP, and other programs.
- Vietnam veterans are now senior citizens, meaning those living in rural areas can apply for Section 504 benefits.
The VA grants exclude roof repair as part of regular home maintenance. Instead, the free money for veterans with service-connected disabilities goes towards medically necessary improvements.
- Allowing entrance and exit from the residence
- Use of lavatory and sanitary facilities (bathrooms)
- Accessibility to sinks, counters, cabinets
Charities helping veterans with home repairs can fill the roof replacement gap in VA programs. Many non-profit organizations dedicate resources to support former service members with free labor and access to ladders, dumpsters, and tools.
- Hidden Heroes (Elizabeth Dole Foundation)
- Building Homes for Heroes
- Operation Homefront
- Purple Heart Homes