In more than one instance you get warned about free grants for home improvement programs and over and over again told that no such thing exists as free grants.
With extended and thorough research you will find ample grants focusing on home improvement alone. The free part of it applies to low and medium income homeowners. Grants can be obtained and loans at zero-interest. Part of the criteria for these “free” grants or loans is that it is needed for health and safety purposes.
There are various loans and grants available, but in general grants for home improvement covers:
- Improve and renovate the exterior structure of the house to the building requirements that is currently applicable. This are improvements such as the roof, sidings, better water and sewage systems, doors and windows, extending your house and measures to make your home more easily reached for disabled and handicapped persons.
- Improvements relating to the interior of the house such as alterations to fix the roof and sidings in events where there is major reason for concern regarding your family unit’s health and security. Grants for home improvements relating to the interior of the house also refers to the electrical and water supply systems.
- There are specific grants for home improvements available if you are interested in renovating or converting your existing property into low income housing. Programs of this nature are usually offered by the government in order to better the availability of low income housing in designated neighbourhoods. These types of grants for home improvement are known to cover most of the above mentioned exterior and interior improvements. In addition financial assistance is provided by means of mortgage assurance and the subsidising of mortgage payments.
Some of the most generally used types of grants for home improvement are:
- Deferred Payment Loans – You are provided with a no-interest loan that does not have to be paid back until you sell the house or the property is transferred to a new owner. The maximum amount available for each individual application is $20 000 for the first year and up to $35 000 for each year thereafter.
- Leveraged Loans – For this type of grant there are some reasonable income eligibility guidelines to meet. As with the Deferred Payment Loans, very similar repairs relating to health and safety qualify for this program. When opting for leveraged loans, you need to provide half of the money needed for cost of the repairs or renovations and loan program will supply the other half. It is also only paid back when you sell the property or it is transferred to a new owner. The maximum to be matched with home improvement program funds is $17 500.
- Emergency Grant – The focus of this home improvement grant is restricted to health and safety risks that needs immediate attention to low income homeowners. Being a grant, no repayment structure is applicable. The maximum grant award is $1,500.