Understanding Federal Government Grants for Home ImprovementsPosted: August 21, 2011
In today’s economy, it may not be an easy choice to make improvements to your home. From basic necessities like a new roof to luxury enhancements such as an upgraded kitchen, deciding how much money to spend in a tightened economy can be a difficult decision for many homeowners to make.
Luckily, there are some federal government grants for home improvements available if you meet certain criteria. And for those that don’t qualify, you might be able to deduct home improvements from income taxes.
Federal Government Grants for Home Improvements
Below are some of the most popular federal government grants for home improvements and who may qualify:
Rehabilitation and Repair Loan – Also known as the Section 203(k) program, this loan is the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s main program providing assistance for repairing and rehabilitating single family properties. To be eligible, the property must be a one- to four-family dwelling that has been completed for at least one year.
Property Improvement Loan – Also known as Title 1, this program insures loans to finance the light or moderate rehabilitation of properties as well as the construction of nonresidential buildings on the property. This program may be used to insure such loans for up to 20 years on either single- or multifamily properties. The maximum loan amount is $25,000 and only lenders approved by HUD can qualify.
Rural Area Loans – The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a number of single family housing programs to low- and moderate-income rural Americans through various loan, grant, and loan guarantee programs. Certain income and credit restrictions apply and should be verified with HUD.
Native American Loans – The Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program is a home mortgage specifically designed for American Indian and Alaska Native families, Alaska Villages, Tribes, or Tribally Designated Housing Entities. Section 184 loans can be used for new construction, rehabilitation, the purchase of an existing home, or a home refinance.
HOME Program – The HOME program provides grants to communities in partnership with local nonprofit groups to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for low-income people.
Community Development Block Grant – This program provides homeowners with resources to address a wide range of development needs, benefiting low and moderate income households through the elimination of slums and addressing urgent community needs.
For those that don’t qualify for any of the above grants, you can also check out the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website for additional home improvement programs. New programs are updated and added on the government website on a routine basis. If you’re planning to deduct home improvements from income taxes, the IRS website is a great resource to see which improvements might qualify for a deduction. Generally, you can deduct expenses such as construction loan interest and sales tax on building materials. If you operate a home-based business or use part of the home as a rental, you can even deduct a percentage of all home improvement costs on your tax return.
Between all the government grants and tax return deductions available, you can be well on your way to enjoying an updated and improved living space that won’t put a strain on your bank account.