The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides necessary housing assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families throughout the United States. The goal of the program is to help homeowners safely remain in their homes and offset the cost of making essential repairs.
It is part of the HUD housing assistance family and provides two types of assistance: loans and grants.
Section 504 home improvement loans are available for low-income homeowners of all ages seeking help paying for improvements or repairs. This type of assistance must be repaid over time in accordance with a specific loan schedule.
Since these home improvement loans were created with low-income homeowners in mind, the interest rate is capped at 1%. This helps borrowers repay the loan while still having enough to pay for other essentials.
Those who qualify have up to 20 years to repay their loan. Specific loan terms vary depending by the applicant.
Home renovation grants, on the other hand, do not need to be repaid. The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides free money to elderly homeowners who need help paying for safety improvements.
The eligibility criteria vary depending on whether you are applying for a loan or a grant. However, to qualify for either type of assistance within the Section 504 program, you must:
- Be the current homeowner.
- Reside in the home full time.
- Have an income at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI).
- Be unable to use other forms of credit to pay for repairs.
To receive a home renovation grant, you must be at least 62 years of age and unable to repay a loan. Most elderly homeowners are on fixed incomes, making it difficult to pay back loans. As such, grants can help them make necessary repairs or updates so they can remain safely in their homes.
It is important to note that if you receive a home renovation grant and sell the property within three years, the total amount of the grant must be repaid in full.
You can get this government home improvement grant in amounts up to $7,500. It is possible to apply for and receive more than one grant through the Section 504 program. However, the total amount of money you can receive throughout your lifetime is $7,500. Once you reach this lifetime limit, you must seek assistance through a different program.
To apply for the Section 504 Home Repair Program, contact your local Rural Development office. You will be required to provide a handful of documents, which vary depending on where you live. Generally, you must submit information regarding your:
- Real estate taxes.