Free Home Repair Assistance for Seniors
There are countless free home repair programs for seniors. Unfortunately, a lot of them may tend to be overlooked.
Many states offer free assistance to seniors who need their home secured or repaired. There are also many nationwide programs that offer help to seniors in need. Between nonprofits and grants, seniors in America are relatively well taken care of.
Let’s take a look at some of these free assistance programs for seniors.
Federal Grants and Funding for Senior Homeowners
There are countless federal grants that help seniors make the best of their homes, including their home climate. Despite the current climate change debate, there are many programs in place for seniors to give them a secure home climate.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The United States’ Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is in place to help those who are less fortunate have their home revamped to be extremely energy efficient. The program is one of the largest whole-house energy efficiency programs in America.
USDA Housing Repair Loans and Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also has a great assistance program in place called the “Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program”. If you’re a senior that gets little-to-no income and desperately needs home repairs, this program is something to look into. The maximum grant is $7,500. But it helps get some hazards out of your home and aids in keeping your home safe. The program also provides low-interest loans of up to $20,000.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Although this program is not specific only to seniors, it assists low-income individuals, including seniors. LIHEAP is a federal program that assists eligible households with heating and cooling energy costs. The program assists by directly paying utility costs, as well as weatherization/energy-related home repairs and renovations.
State Grants for Senior Homeowners
There are lots of great state grants as well. Some state grants are similar to the federal grants, and others are unique to each state. Here are a few of the programs that seniors can turn to for free assistance at the state level.
California Earthquake Authority Brace + Bolt
This grant is California specific and only applies to those who have a pre-1980 house. These homes generally aren’t sturdy enough to withstand an earthquake. With this grant, however, they can receive $3,000 in funds to aid in earthquake-proofing homes. They also offer cheaper earthquake insurance to those who need it. Though this program is for older homes and not just exclusively seniors, it can still offer lots of help for those who need it.
Department of Aging
Many states have Departments of Aging. A lot of these programs are good at reaching out and offering services, but it never hurts to check. Depending on your specific state program, your local Department of Aging can have a range of grant programs. From grants to replace your roof to grants to replace your home with energy-efficient windows. For most seniors, the Department of Aging may be one of the biggest sources of free home repair assistance.
Like the federal LIHEAP program, many states including New York and Ohio have state-level Home Energy Assistance Programs. These programs are for all low-income individuals including seniors and can help pay energy costs for heating and cooling.
How Medicare Can Help Senior Homeowners
Medicare may not directly fund senior home repair. But most of the time, they’ll gladly help anyone who needs their home better “fitted” for them by a doctor’s prescription.
This can include things like:
- Hanging bars to aid getting out of bed
- Seat lifts
Medicare is rather strict regarding their policies. They don’t provide “items of convenience” such as stairlifts, etc. But they can be a good source for those who only need minor assistance. And for those who don’t need home repairs, but rather, slight home modifications.
Nonprofits That Help Senior Homeowners
It gets better–there are many nonprofits nationwide which can help you make your home safe if you are older and have very little income.
Habitat for Humanity
Depending on your home situation, Habitat for Humanity is prepared to offer a range of assistance to seniors who need it. This can be anything from changing light bulbs to total remodels for those who require a better space for living. Think about those that need a wheelchair accessible space, for example.
Of course, this nonprofit has its limits. They offer programs for many of those in need. If you are a senior citizen who can’t afford home repairs, or if you need help with general home maintenance, you will most likely qualify for help from Habitat for Humanity.
Rental Assistance for Senior Renters
Even though home repair assistance is the main topic of this article, home renting is an extremely common thing in the United States. Believe it or not, there are also plenty of rental help programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a program called Section 202. Section 202 is for supportive housing for the elderly.
This financial help doesn’t necessarily pay for all of your rent. But the HUD grant will aid you, or a senior you know, with finding low-income housing. The HUD funds the building of complexes that contain low-income housing for seniors.
These complexes provide assistance with general upkeep as well. If you, or someone you know, aren’t able to afford the upkeep of a house. And are considered “very low income”, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is there to help you pay your rent. As well as keep you safe and healthy.
Seniors Deserve The Help They Can Get
Most of these programs are for low-income seniors rather than those who are extremely well off. Now that you may be nearing retirement, it doesn’t matter whether you worked hourly, or earned a salary your whole life. Maybe you worked your whole life, and continue to do so. No matter what your situation is, you may be eligible for some of these free home assistance solutions as a senior–and you deserve it! There are also plenty of other programs for seniors to assist with all sorts of aspects of daily life. If transportation costs like ridesharing or medical care get too expensive or troublesome, there are programs out there to help!
Whitney VanNostrand is a home-improvement writer at Dickson Plumbing, a plumbing company in northeastern North Carolina.