Buying a home can seem impossible. But with free housing grants, homeownership is an option for almost anyone.
Even if you already own a home but just need money for repairs, home repair grants can also give you free money to help pay for expensive home improvement projects.
The best part is that these grants are not loans, so they don’t need to be repaid. Plus, if you qualify, applying is easy.
Check out some of the best options below. You’ll learn more about what these housing grants offer, who qualifies to get them and how to apply for one.
If You’ve Never Owned a Home, Check Out a First-Time Home Owner Grant
First-time homebuyer grants are one of America’s most popular grants for low-income families.
Here’s how it typically works:
- The federal government gives grant money for first time homebuyers to counties or cities.
- When you buy a home, this money helps lower the cost of your down payment or even the purchase price of the home.
With some grants, you might not even have to put down a down payment. You may also be able to get excellent low interest rates.
Who can get first-time homebuyer grants?
Many national first-time homebuyer programs will probably require you to meet an income requirement. Some will also have a minimum credit score requirement. You may also have to buy a home in a certain area.
How do you apply?
To learn more about applying for a home loan grant for first time buyers, you can review the information on the website for the city or county where you live.
These sites should include details about eligibility and application guidelines. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also includes a list of homebuyer programs across the country.
Are You a Veteran or Service Member? Learn About VA Home Improvement Grants and Homebuying Grants for Veterans
In addition to offering popular home loan options, the VA offers several types of completely free VA home grants for service members and veterans.
VA housing grants include the following:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants.
- Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants.
- Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grants.
Learn About VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grants
If you have a service-connected disability, you may qualify for a Special Adapted Housing (SAH) grant. You can use the money to purchase a home or modify your current home to make living with your disability easier.
If you qualify, you can get up to $90,364 to use for your home.
VA Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants
An SHA grant works pretty much like an SAH grant. It helps you make improvements that let you get around your home easier if you have a disability. You can qualify for up to $18,704 in SHA grant money.
Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grants
If you qualify for an SAH or SHA grant but you do not own a home, you may be able to get a TRA grant. This VA adaptive housing grant gives you money to adapt a family member’s home if you are living in the home temporarily.
Be sure to check with your state, too!
While the VA doesn’t offer homebuying grants, a lot of states have their own unique military home buying grants. Utah’s Veteran First-time Homebuyer Grant, for example, provides a $2,500 housing grant to qualifying veterans and service members.
Other home buying grants for veterans include:
- Iowa’s Military Homeownership Assistance Program: Offers up to $5,000 in grant money to veterans and active duty service members.
- The private PENFED foundation’s Dream Makers program: Gives veterans or active duty service members up to $5,000 in grant money toward a home purchase
Does Your Home Need Improvement? Pay for It With a Home Repair Grant
If you already own a home that needs repairs, a government grant for roof repair and other problems may help you.
Here are some examples of government assistance programs for home improvement:
- Rural Housing Home Repair Loan and Grant Program: This program offers repair loans to low-income homeowners in rural areas. It also offers up to $7,500 in free grant money to applicants who are 62 years of age or older. Recipients can use the grant money to make home repairs and improvements to make the home a healthier and safer place to live.
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing Improvement Program: This program offers government grants for home improvement to low-income members of federally recognized Native American tribes.
You may also find other home repair grant programs through your state or local community. HUD sends block grants to state and local governments to help fund home improvements and repairs.
Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gives emergency home repair assistance grant money to local governments and nonprofits in areas that have been through a disaster.
Buy a House for HALF the Cost With a Good Neighbor Next Door Mortgage
The HUD Good Neighbor Next Door program is a home buying grant for teachers, police officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters. If you have one of these jobs, you can qualify for 50% off a home’s purchase price.
You’ll have to choose from certain Good Neighbor Next Door Homes located in revitalization areas. HUD keeps a list of eligible homes on its website. Be sure to check often, because the available homes change every week.
The requirements to qualify are simple:
- Declare your interest in an eligible home.
- Complete the application.
- Sign a Good Neighbor Next Door Mortgage and note.
- Stay in the home for three years.
If someone else makes an offer on the same home and qualifies, HUD will choose the winner using a random lottery.