Housing Grants

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides housing grants to low-income families and households that struggle to meet the cost of housing. If qualified, HUD grants provide an invaluable source of funds towards rental costs, the purchase of a home and renovations or repairs to existing properties. Not only are housing grants provided to qualifying homeowners, but they are also supplied to organizations that use funding to improve local communities.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has several types of housing grants available to those who qualify. Each type of HUD grant has a specific purpose, stringent eligibility requirements and grant amounts to ensure that the funds correctly serve a community. For example, the Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants program only provides funds to senior citizen homeowners who meet age- and income-based requirements as well as live in a particular area.

Some grant programs have income-based requirements, such as the Emergency Solutions Grants that provide housing assistance to low-income households in the midst of a hardship leading to a housing crisis. You can learn more about each of these HUD housing grants within the sections that have been provided below.

The Purpose of Housing Grants

The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides housing grants to qualifying families that would otherwise not be able to afford safe, decent and sanitary housing opportunities. Having access to affordable housings can help communities become more sustainable and improve the housing market and economy within an area.

In order to obtain a housing grant from the HUD, applicants must meet eligibility requirements. Each grant program has its own qualifications that must be met. For instance, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) provides grants to qualifying low-income families that are experiencing a crisis-related to housing. Therefore, this grant program has income-related qualifications.

Types of Housing Grants

There are several types of federal housing grants that are provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Each grant is meant to serve a specific purpose and each grant program has its own eligibility requirements that applicants must meet. In the sections below, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the housing grant programs that you or your organization could potentially qualify for.

Emergency Solutions Grants Program

The ESG program is a federally funded program that is managed independently on a state level. This program exists within every state within the United States as well as within Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. The Emergency Solutions Grants program is responsible for:

  • Providing safe, decent and sanitary housing to families and individuals who are facing homelessness due to a crisis or hardship.
  • Increasing the number of emergency shelters throughout the state.
  • Increasing the quality of the emergency shelters within the state by assisting with operations.

The ESG program offers several benefits and resources to individuals and families that are facing homelessness. ESG caseworkers help qualifying families and individuals in finding emergency shelters, housing opportunities and critical services within their local community.

Those applying for the ESG program must provide documented proof that they are experiencing a housing crisis. Once approved for assistance, the program may also be able to assist in homelessness prevention by offering additional resources, including rental assistance.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

The HOME Investment Partnership Program provides crucial funding to states and local organizations that assist in the increase of homeownership and affordable housing among low-income families and individuals. Therefore, this program does not work directly with individuals and families seeking housing assistance.

Grants that are provided to state and local organizations may be used to build low-income housing opportunities, restore affordable properties, assist low-income families with the purchase of a home or help community residents afford rent.

The HOME Investment Partnership Program is a very low-income program. Therefore, applicants must meet income-related eligibility requirements in order to obtain assistance within their local communities. Generally, an applicant’s income must be less than 60 percent of the median income for the county or metropolitan area. Applicants interested in receiving housing assistance must contact a HOME office to determine what type of assistance may be available to them.

Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides assistance to certain low-income homeowners through the Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants program. This program provides crucial assistance to qualifying homeowners who cannot afford to make necessary repairs or improvements on a home that would eliminate a safety hazard, eliminate a health hazard or make a home more accessible for a disabled household member.

This program is only available to households that include at least one elderly adult who is at least 62 years of age. In order to receive a grant rather than a loan, applicants must be considered low-income with an income that is at least 50 percent lower than the median income within the community. As the name of the grant indicates, applicants must live in a place that is considered rural.

If approved for a loan, the program provides loans with a one percent interest rate that can be repaid over a 20-year period. Funds may only be used towards the cost of approved home repairs and improvements.

Choice Neighborhoods Program

The Choice Neighborhoods Program provides financial aid to communities and neighborhoods that are experiencing a financial hardship. The program strives to build safer neighborhoods, improve education within local communities and increase the economy of a low-income neighborhood.

Additionally, the Choice Neighborhoods Program funds community outreach programs in an effort to repair existing government-sponsored housing or build new housing within a neighborhood. In doing so, the community can become a more appealing area and improve residents’ quality of life.

To ensure that the Choice Neighborhoods Program is effective in aiding local communities, there are several entities within a community that assist in creative projects and build strategies, including:

  • Local government agencies.
  • Housing and tribal authorities.
  • Nonprofit organizations that operate within communities.
  • Private developers.
  • Local police departments.
  • Local school districts.
  • Community residents.

Each of these entities plays a crucial role in the overall improvement of a neighborhood. As a neighborhood improves and a greater amount of affordable housing opportunities become available, the community and its residents begin to thrive.