Having a roof over your head is a basic human need. Unfortunately, there are over 600,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. Furthermore, many people live in substandard housing, and there is a lack of affordable housing across the country. Individuals, municipalities, and non-profit organizations have many opportunities for home construction grants and grants for other housing issues. Both federal and state governments as well as private foundations offer funding to help with a wide array of needs.
College campus chapters of Habitat for Humanity can apply for grants from Habitat for Humanity and State Farm to help with home building projects. There will be 16 matching grants available for the 2014-15 year: four $10,000 matching grants, six $5,000 grants, and six $2,000 grants. These grants aim to help the chapters increase their capacity to build houses for needy families. In addition to the matching grants described above, eligible groups may also apply for a Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative bonus grant of $1,000 each, which will be awarded based on the project described. Groups must first apply for, and receive, a matching grant to be eligible for a bonus. The deadline for applications is Oct. 1, meaning you likely need to look ahead to next year for this program.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this program’s goal is to end homelessness. Grants from this program can fund new construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, or leasing of buildings to provide transitional or permanent housing, rental assistance, payment of operating costs, supportive services, re-housing services, payment of administrative costs, and grants for technical assistance. HUD homes grants are available to non-profit organizations and state and local governments. Hurry, the deadline is Oct. 30 for FY 2014. Don’t fret; we do rush jobs.
Non-profit home organizations can apply for grants from this banking company. The goal is to help provide sustainable homeownership opportunities for low to moderate income people. Grants can be used for construction or rehab of owner-occupied homes, buyer education and counseling, foreclosure counseling and prevention, down payment and closing cost subsidies, interstate rate buy downs, and home repairs. Applications are due between January 2-31 and July 1-31 every year. The average grant amount over the past three years was $7,500.
These grants provide financial assistance to non-profit organizations and governments to aid low-income individuals and their families to build homes in rural areas by the self-help method. Grants can be used to pay salaries, rent, and office expenses of the nonprofit organization. Pre-development grants up to $10,000 are available. Applications are accepted year round and can be turned into your local rural development office.
Communities hardest hit by foreclosures and home delinquencies can apply for grant money from this HUD-funded program. These grants are used to purchase, rehabilitate, or redevelop homes. Funds must be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons whose income does not exceed 120 percent of the area median income. The average grant amount in 2014 was over $12 million.
Many grant programs that fund housing needs also offer low-interest loans. For example, the USDA Rural Development offers loans to low-income households to purchase homes in rural areas. Check out their other loans here. If your grant proposal is unsuccessful, or even if it is funded, look into these loans to complement the grants.
Additionally, HUD also has some other programs like Section 203(k) insurance, which enables homebuyers and homeowners to finance both the purchase (or refinancing) of a house and the cost of its rehabilitation through a single mortgage, or to finance the rehabilitation of their existing homes.
Photo Credit: Koshy Koshy