What should you do if you cannot get a home improvement loan because you have bad credit or your income is insufficient because you are retired or disabled?
Fortunately, you might be able to find assistance to fix up your residence.
Many charities help with home repairs as part of their overall mission and can provide free servant labor while you might have to fund the material costs.
Government home repair grants represent free money that you do not have to repay. However, the funding is limited and can be very hard to get or may not flow directly to individuals.
Charities That Help with Home Repairs
Many charities provide help with home repairs as part of the services offered to target groups. However, it pays to keep several things in mind when dealing with non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations.
- Funding is often sparse as they rely on the generosity of donors
- Needs from the local community often outstrip their limited resources
- Restoration work may be one of the many services they provide
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanities is a charity that often assists with home repair. While their primary mission is to build affordable housing for low-income families, they often face gaps in suitable jobs for their army of servant tradespeople.
Renovation work is often a more cost-effective way for Habitat for Humanity affiliates to help people in their local communities. Contact your local affiliate to express your need for restoration work.
Rebuilding Together is another charity that helps with home repair with a focus on community revitalization. Corporate and community partners combine to refurbish dwellings and rebuild lives.
The affiliate network of Rebuilding Together completes close to 10,000 renovation projects each year. They have non-profit affiliates who serve the needs of people in need across the country. Look for a local outlet in your area.
Several faith-based charities help with home repairs across the country and internationally by organizing mission trips for youth and adults.
Jesus was a carpenter and taught to love others through service.
Contact one the these 501(c)(3) organization about your need. They may have a mission trip already scheduled in your area or could make one happen on your behalf.
Samaritans Purse is a faith-based charity that sometimes assists with home repairs after natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, etc.
For example, Samaritans Purse recently sent a team to Galena, Alaska, to rebuild houses swept off their foundations by floodwaters.
Catholic Charities faithfully serves people in need through the collective effort of the church. Their affordable housing programs provide emergency shelters & long-term assistance to vulnerable populations.
The non-profit organization has a network of offices throughout the country, and some occasionally support home repair efforts to keep people off the streets. Contact your local office for help.
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap, and support communities impacted by natural disasters.
The Foundation also offers grant awards up to $5,000 to 501(c)(3) designated organizations recognized and in good standing with the IRS for a minimum of one year and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the community.
Most often, finding neighborhood charities that help with minor home repairs is your best bet because a local church or volunteer organization can mobilize the servants and supplies more efficiently.
Begin with this list of non-profits and perform a local online search.
Ecumenical Ministries – Baldwin County
Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona – Tucson and Pima County
New Hope Presbyterian Church – Castle Rock
First Baptist Church – Pensacola
Heart Felt Ministries – Jacksonville
Home Repair Ministries – Norcross
Big Creek Missions – Bear Branch
Cedaridge Ministries – Williamsburg
Hope House – Bowling Green
United Methodist Parish – Cumberland County
Hand in Hand Ministries – Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, and Martin counties
Home Repair Services of Kent County – Grand Rapids
Solid Rock Ministries – Holland & Zeeland
Cary Christian Center – Cary
Voice of Calvary Ministries – Jackson
Church of the Assumption – Fairport
Snowbelt Housing Company – Lowville
Holland’s United Methodist Church – Raleigh
Partners in Ministry – East Laurinburg
Home Repair Resource Center – Cleveland Heights
The Urban Mission – Steubenville
Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation – Youngstown
Cornerstone Ministries – Murrysville
Handyman Ministries – Gordonville
Good Neighbors, Inc. – Kennett Square
Sumter United Ministries – Sumter County
Appalachian Outreach – East Tennessee
Centreville United Methodist Church – Sneedville
Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church – Memphis
Service Over Self – Memphis
Mountain T.O.P. – Coalmont
Northwest Assistance Ministries – Houston
The Network of Community Ministries – Dallas, Garland, Richardson
First United Methodist Church – Burleson
BluePrint Ministries – San Antonio
Love Inc. – Charlottesville & Albemarle County
Tree of Life – Lynchburg
Homage – Linwood
Free Home Repair Grants
The federal government also provides free home repair grants to help specific groups of marginalized people such as senior citizens, veterans, disabled individuals, and low-income families.
Grants are better than loans because you do not have to pay the federal remodel incentive money back to the government. However, the qualifications are rigorous, and you sometimes need to be creative.
Home repair grants individuals with disabilities require out-of-the-box thinking. The federal government does not seem to offer free help explicitly tailored to people dealing with handicaps.
However, other programs can provide limited assistance with certain modifications. Disabled people can look into these overlooked resources.
- Three government HVAC grants can make it more affordable to upgrade a furnace, air conditioner, and water heater through rebates and energy savings
- Social Security Disability Insurance claims can fund loan payments – but borrow money for critical emergency needs only
- Health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, and Private plans) sometimes cover medically necessary alterations that keep you from an expensive hospital stay
- Costs incurred to implement accessibility modifications in your dwelling are an eligible medical deduction on your Federal Income Tax
- Property insurance plans may cover the costs to fix damage from sudden losses due to wind, hail, fire, lightning, water damage, and freezing
The USDA Section 504 program also provides home repair grants for senior citizens. Elderly individuals over the age of 62 who cannot afford to pay back a loan may qualify for this free money. The maximum lifetime grant is $7,500.
Senior citizens could be eligible if they meet these criteria.
- Be the owner and occupy the house
- 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
Senior housing renovators must use the money to remediate health and safety hazards. These perils increase the risk of respiratory problems or infections and accidents such as falls, electric shocks, and more.
Government home repair grants for veterans are more readily available. Former members of the armed forces who served our country bravely deserve our respect – and an occasional free service from the taxpayers and other grateful citizens.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) offers three different housing assistance programs to help personnel with service-connected disabilities. The funding helps make needed changes to their living environment, such as ramps, walkways, handrails, grab bars, sliding doors, and other modifications.
- Specially Adapted Housing (S.A.H.) grant helps recipients live independently in a barrier-free environment
- Special Housing Adaptation (S.H.A.) grant helps recipients with specific service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a residence to accommodate the impairment
- Temporary Residence Adaptation (T.R.A.) grant helps recipients modify a house owned by a family member
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Housing Preservation program provides government grants to sponsoring organizations that fund housing repair and rehabilitation for low-income residents located in rural areas.
However, this free money has limitations.
- Residents in urban areas do not qualify as the money flows to rural areas only
- Individual homeowners are not eligible
- Only state or local governments, tribal entities, or charitable organizations can apply