The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies provide home-ownership grants to income-qualified households. Seniors that are first-time home buyers, or who have not purchased a home within three years of applying for a grant are eligible for help. Grants are awarded to low-to-moderate income households. HUD has established the income limit levels for every county in the U.S. These income limit levels are based on the average household income for that county. Since some counties have higher average income levels than others, the low-income limit level will vary.
American Dream Downpayment Initiative
HUD's American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) helps first-time home buyers purchase a home with down payment assistance. Seniors with income at or below 80 percent of the area's median income can qualify for help. The senior can receive $10,000 or 6 percent of the purchase price of the home. The applicant must be a first-time home buyer or must not have purchased a home within three years of applying to the ADDI program. The grant can also be used toward paying for closing costs or home repairs. The repairs must be completed within one year of receiving the ADDI grant funds.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program
HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Programs provides grants to nonprofit agencies to purchase abandoned and foreclosed homes. These homes are rehabilitated and put on the market at an affordable price. The home must be sold to income-qualified families. Seniors with low-to-moderate income can qualify to purchase the home. HUD defines low-to-moderate income as 80 to 120 percent of the area's median income. The nonprofit organization may also offer down-payment assistance for the purchase of the home.
HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) helps home buyers purchase a home through their own sweat equity. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity use SHOP grant funds to help low-income families achieve home ownership. Seniors with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area's median income can qualify for help. The senior must put in 100 hours of work toward constructing the home. The senior must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, have steady income, good credit and have the ability to make a down payment toward the purchase of the home.
Federal Home Loan Banks across the country set aside 10 percent of their net income to fund affordable housing projects. The Affordable Housing Program (AHP) assists first-time home buyers purchase a home. Seniors with low-to-moderate income can apply for help. Each bank has its own grant programs and eligibility requirements. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis to non-profit agencies committed to providing affordable housing to low-income communities. Each Federal Home Loan Bank's website has a list of grantees that received money for their projects. You must apply for a grant through one of these nonprofit agencies.