Paying For A Roof With No Money: Free Government Grants

How do you pay for a roof repair or replacement when you have no money in a checking or savings account?

Find a third party with deep pockets that might help you afford it.

The federal government has abundant resources and sometimes funds free grants that low-income families, senior citizens, and disaster victims can utilize.

Other private entities have deep pockets and might replace shingles, awnings, and gutters before or after specified events at no cost to the homeowner.

Of course, financing companies have the resources, allowing qualified individuals to borrow money upfront and retire the obligation over the coming months.

Free Government Roof Replacement Grants

The federal government does not directly provide roof replacement and repair grants to homeowners. The free money flows to state agencies and non-profit organizations.

Therefore, identifying the grant recipients in your area and applying for benefits with those entities is the ideal way to pay for an unaffordable new roof with no money.


Free roof replacement grants might be available to low-income families nationwide through at least three government programs. Of course, you must apply for these benefits through the grant recipients.

Free home repair for low-income households could extend beyond your leaky shingles, flashing, underlayment, framing, and rafters to other projects such as windows, doors, HVAC equipment, appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems.


The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) grants free roof repair to localized agencies and designated contractors. Low-income families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for this Department of Energy benefit.

Learn how to apply for WAP at this online resource.

  1. 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.
  2. Complete the application process by providing proof of income from the previous year and household size.
  3. Prepare to have a state-approved provider send a representative to your home to perform an energy audit to determine if you are eligible for free services based on the Savings Investment Ratio (SIR).


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides roof repair grants less frequently because its primary mission is to manage home utility bills, while weatherization is a secondary objective.

LIHEAP, run by the US Department of Health & Human, sends block grants to each state. Then, state agencies allocate the money to local providers to administer the program.

Find Local LIHEAP providers using this online tool.

  1. Enter your state into the dropdown menu
  2. Select the county of your current resident
  3. Click on the yellow dot closest to your location
  4. Contact the state-approved provider to see if you qualify


The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP) provides a $20,000 roof repair grant 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. 

Senior Citizens

Free roof repair and replacement grants for seniors include options for low-income families because many older adults subsisting on fixed retirement benefits meet the criteria.

Free programs to help seniors with home repairs could extend beyond the two additional roof replacement options outlined below. Chances are your leaky shingles, flashing, underlayment, framing, and rafters are not the only projects needing government funding.

Charitable Organizations

Charities near you that help with home repairs receive federal grant money often. These non-profit organizations might assist seniors in fixing their leaky roofs because nobody likes seeing an older person climbing ladders to overhaul broken shingles and awnings.

Charitable organizations and churches with repair ministries often target low-income seniors for outreach. After all, we all know elders and can easily sympathize with the struggles and isolation associated with aging.

Section 504

USDA Section 504 grants of up to $10,000 could easily support free roof repair for seniors, provided the project remediates health and safety hazards. For instance, leaks causing black mold are a health hazard and should be eligible.

To qualify, the older adult must meet these criteria.

  • Be the homeowner and occupy the residence
  • Reside in an eligible rural area
  • Unable to obtain a loan elsewhere (bad credit)
  • Have a family income below 50% of the area median
  • Unable to repay a restoration loan

Disaster Victims

The government provides roof repair and replacement grants to victims of presidentially declared disasters nationwide through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The free FEMA money helps fix damage not covered by insurance to make the primary residence safe, sanitary, and fit to occupy.

Apply for FEMA assistance online.

FEMA roof repair mitigation support may include the following.

  • Replacing damaged or destroyed asphalt shingles with materials designed to withstand wind speed velocity of up to 116 miles per hour
  • Heavier rubberized membrane and thicker sheathing material to help reduce or eliminate interior water damage

Other Free Roof Replacement Programs

Private companies sometimes provide free roof replacement programs to homeowners nationwide under narrowly defined circumstances. Of course, these organizations are profit-seeking enterprises, so bear this in mind.

However, those in the middle and upper classes paying taxes might find these options are the only way to pay for an unaffordable new roof with no money.

Homeowners Insurance

Your homeowner’s insurance policy could be a free roof replacement program from a private company. You pay the monthly premiums, so you owe it to yourself to see what you can get at no additional cost.

After these typically covered incidents, homeowner’s insurance will likely pay for roof replacement or repair.

  • Collapse from the weight of ice, sleet, or snow
  • Damage from hail
  • Lost shingles from high wind
  • Fire and lightning strikes
  • Explosions
  • Falling trees and branches

Homeowner’s insurance will probably deny roof repair or replacement claims when caused by something excluded in most policies.

  • Water damage from continuous seepage and leaks
  • Loss from the installation of solar panels
  • Wear and tear, rotting from older materials
  • Earthquakes and earth movements such as landslides
  • Termites, insects, rats, mice, birds, and other vermin
  • Intentional acts

Solar Panels

Solar panel marketing companies often promote “free roof replacement programs” to homeowners with decaying shingles, flashing, underlayment, framing, and rafters. In these cases, the organization is projecting a zero lifetime cost.

Solar panel installation projects to save enough money over time to pay for a new roof.

  • Residential solar energy tax credit
  • Reduction in heating, cooling, and lighting costs
  • Net metering: selling excess electricity back to the grid  

Of course, the homeowner must pay for the replacement roof and solar panels upfront, which is a problem if you have no money. Financing can solve this problem by matching future savings with monthly installments, netting to zero.

Loan Programs

Borrowing from a consumer finance company is the final way to pay for a new roof when you have no cash. Of course, this option involves origination fees, interest charges, and future monthly payments, which is why it appears last on our list.

Home improvement loans with bad credit, and no equity will cost more because the obligation is unsecured. The lender cannot foreclose on your property should you default in the future, so they charge a premium to offset the more significant risks.

However, adding solar panels into the equation makes financing more attractive. The projected savings from tax credits, reduction in energy costs, and extra revenue from net metering make the monthly payments more affordable!