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The types of housing grants available can be broken down into three main categories: purchasing grants, rent assistance, and home improvement grants. The funds available often depend on a number of different factors, such as income requirements, location and past grants received. Housing grant programs can be administered by any number of different agencies as well.
In the United States, the most common agency issuing housing grants is the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), which has among its missions the goal of creating affordable housing. These grants, while paid for with national money, are often administered on the local level through a city or county office, depending on the state involved. Therefore, applications will be handled through a local office, which is designed to help expedite the process and keep decisions as local as possible.
One of the most attractive types of housing grants for people to take advantage of are those that assist with down payments. Often, these are only available for first-time home buyers. Those who are able to get this type of grant can consider themselves to be very fortunate. It will not only help lower the monthly payment, but allow the home owner to build instant equity.
Another type of housing grant that is very popular is rental assistance. This is administered through HUD under what is known as Section 8 of the U.S. Code. This program can partially pay for rent on a unit. However, while the payments are usually only partial, they can be a substantial portion of the rent. Eligibility, and how much a person may be qualified for, is determined through the application process by looking at factors such as household size, existing liabilities and income.
Often, those interested in a rental assistance grant will need to get on a waiting list as demand for the grants is very high. This low-income housing program can be quite popular and many cities cannot keep up with demand. Once a grant becomes available for an individual, he or she will be able to keep the grant as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. However, a periodic review for eligibility will be required.
Refurbishment or remodeling housing grants may also be available from one of two different agencies. These may be issued as part of a normal program through HUD. However, in cases where there have been natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes or hurricanes, it is also possible some of these housing grants will be offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In such cases, it will likely be necessary for the individual to submit proof that damage was caused by the disaster.