Maintaining a safe home can be a challenge when you're a senior citizen on a fixed income. Some seniors often have to make the decision to move when they can no longer afford home repairs. Depending on where you live, however, you may qualify for grant assistance to help you remain in your own home. Document the improvements or modifications you need to make, and know how much they will cost before you apply for a grant.
Gather documentation you'll need to complete grant applications. To qualify for grant assistance, you may be asked to provide copies of your recent tax returns, latest housing assessments and other pertinent information about your personal finances. File and label all documentation so that it will be easy to find when you apply for a grant.
Call the office of Area Agencies on Aging, or Title VI Native American aging program in your area to ask about home-improvement grants. Visit the office in person if necessary to discuss your home improvement needs. The agency or program office can provide you with information about grants you may qualify for, or refer you to the appropriate agency or nonprofit organization that can help you.
Visit a Rural Development Office if you live in a rural area, to find out whether you qualify for a U.S. Department of Agriculture, Very Low-Income Housing Repair grant. Ask for information on how to apply for a grant. You may qualify for a USDA grant if you need to upgrade your home or remove hazards to make it safe. USDA grants are for rural homeowners over the age of 62, who don't have the income to repay a USDA Housing Repair loan. (See References,
Complete the application materials as directed by the local agency and submit the required supporting documentation. Contact an officer or representative at the local agency if you have questions about how to fill out the grant paperwork. Return the forms to the appropriate office by the stated deadline if applicable. Respond to any requests for additional information promptly to prevent delays in processing your application.
- National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a): AAAs/Title VI
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Eldercare Locator; Home Repair and Modification
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Development; Single Family Housing Loans and Grants
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Development; Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants