What are Government Housing Grants?

Barbara R. Cochran

Many organizations, especially those that offer social services, and even certain types of investors, can apply for government housing grants. The majority of those who do apply, however, tend to be low-income families or individuals, the elderly, veterans, and disabled people. In other words, the grants are mostly needs-based.

HUD grants allow the disabled and elderly afford to live in townhouse-style housing.
HUD grants allow the disabled and elderly afford to live in townhouse-style housing.

Government housing grants do not have to be repaid. They can cover closing costs when the purchase of a house is approved, or much-needed repairs to ensure that those dwelling in a home are safe and secure. A single grant can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Accordingly, government housing grants can be a boon to the housing market.

For most people, ownership of a home would be a dream come true, especially if they have struggled, trying to get themselves financially established to be in a position where they can make a monthly mortgage payment. Many people, however, are unable to come up with required closing costs and an initial down payment for the house they want. Government housing grants, like those offered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are often the answer to their prayers.

HUD funnels grant money into public housing as well. That grant money makes it possible for many low-income individuals, and the disabled and elderly, to live in what are usually urban high rises and townhouse-style dwellings. Public housing residents pay rent on a sliding scale, based on their income. Some people qualify for the Section 8 program where, again, the amount of the monthly government assistance will depend on an individual’s or family’s income.

Another special group of people that can benefit from government housing grants are military veterans who have a permanent service-related disability. The actual income of injured veterans is sometimes low due to an inability to work for extended periods of time, or at all. Special changes might have to be made to ensure that they can live as independently as possible. Permanently disabled veterans might be eligible for government housing grants that cover down payments and closing costs, but also that help with the cost of home renovations that will enhance their living experience.

In the US, people can apply for government housing grants and get information about participation in HUD grant programs on the Internet. It is often advisable for an applicant to go to his or her local government agency office and have someone who works there help them fill out the application. In that way, he or she may increase the likelihood of being awarded a grant.

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