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How to Apply for Home Improvement Grants
It's very common to see advertisements and articles online and in other forms of media regarding the availability of home improvement and home repair grants… that "free money" that everybody seems to promise is out there, just waiting to be claimed. Sometimes these advertisements will even offer assistance, or instructions for receiving a grant… for a price. The truth is, you should never pay for this type of information, because this type of information is already provided, free of charge, from the government and other agencies that provide the grants.
Understanding the Definition of a "Grant"
A grant is money that doesn't have to be paid back, such as a loan does, which is provided for a specific need. There are programs designed to address the needs of certain groups of individuals, primarily those with low income, credit difficulties that prevent them from getting standard home improvement loans, disabled individuals, and senior citizens on a fixed income. Basically, you need to be approved for the type of grant you are applying for, and often if you are determined to be able to pay for the home repair or improvement by standard means, you won't be approved. Still, if you feel you may qualify, you should definitely apply. Grants can come from the U.S. government, from state and local agencies, or even from private grant foundations.
Research Grant Availability
Because not all types of grants are available in all areas, you will want to do some investigation. Grants are often available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), so you can locate an office near you to determine what types of grants may be available in your local area, and what the process is for applying for one. They will also be able to tell you what restrictions may be in place for the grants, and how you can go about the process of seeing if you qualify for one.
Types of Repairs Customarily Covered by Grants
Not all types of home repairs and improvements will be covered by a grant. For example, cosmetic improvements such as painting and simple remodeling won't be covered. The most common types of home improvements and repairs center around big problems, such as a faulty roof, repairing or replacing a furnace, dealing with plumbing, bathroom and septic system issues, adding weatherization when there is a serious need, as well as improving the accessibility within a home for those who are elderly or disabled, when the need arises.
The Process of Applying for a Grant
Once you locate a grant that you feel fits your needs, you will want to start the application process. You can visit your local USDA office, or other organizations and establishments that are offering grants. In many cases, you can also go through the application process online. During the application process, you are going to need your financial information, such as your pay stubs, tax returns, or any other documentation that proves you need the financial assistance. You will also need to have the information together regarding the home repairs or improvements that need to be performed, along with any quotes or documentation that you have in regards to the problems that exist within your home.
Award-winning writer Jessica Ackerman works for WallDecorandHomeAccents.com and shares her wealth of knowledge on unique home decor and wrought iron decor.