How Can I Get Help With Home Repairs?

How Can I Get Help With Home Repairs?

First, DO NOT get scammed.

Identity Theft

Don’t give away personal information. Anyone can be a victim of identity theft. Don’t fill out an online application that asks for your bank account information, Social Security number or anything else that can be used to steal your identity.

You might think you are applying for help, but the information you are filling in can be used by an identity thief to open a loan and borrow money in your name, leaving you in debt.

Not-so-handy Men

Be careful when you hire someone to repair your home.  Don’t hand off a bunch of money to some guy off a Facebook Garage Sale page. Even if a handyman is honest, if he doesn’t know what he’s doing, you can end up worse off than before he started.

Building permits and inspections are a good thing. Electric, plumbing, HVAC and structural repairs require a permit. The inspector will make sure the work is done correctly.

Assistance Programs

There are a lot of programs available to help low-income homeowners repair your home.  Just ask. If you don’t qualify for one program, ask for recommendations of programs you might qualify for. Don’t give up. There are a lot of programs out there and you might have to be a squeaky wheel to get help.

USDA Rural Development Section 504 Home Repair Program
Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants

This program offers grants up to $10,000 and loans up to $40,000 to very-low-income homeowners.

Grants do not have to be paid back. To qualify for a grant, you must be 62 or older. The grant can only be used for health and safety hazards.

Loans have to be paid back over 20 years at an interest rate of only 1%. The money must be used to repair, improve or modernize your home.

See if your home qualifies: USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site

Habitat for Humanity

Local volunteers “make repairs affordable, so low-income homeowners can continue to live independently and securely in their homes.”

Repairs include roof, porch and deck, doors and windows, siding, painting, and heating and cooling.

To qualify you have to own your home and live there for at least a year, have homeowner’s insurance and earn no more than 80% of HUD median income ($68,560 for one person, $78,320 for a couple).

Find your Local Habitat for Humanity

NC Housing Finance Agency

NC Housing Finance Agency provides interest-free, deferred loans, forgiven at up to $8,000 a year, to pay for necessary repairs focused on health and safety.  The program works with local governments and nonprofit organizations for home repair and rehabilitation.

NC Housing Urgent Repair Program offers interest-free loans for emergency home repairs if you are 62 or older or have special needs and earn less than 50% of the median income for your area. Loan repayment can be deferred or even forgiven at $3,000 a year.

Find community partners and programs near you:  NCHFA Community Partners

Social Services

Social Services knows about many programs in your area. Contact your local Department of Social Services. The Energy Assistance Crisis Intervention Program is available if you earn up to 150% of Federal Poverty Level. The Low Income Energy Assistance Program can assist anyone 60 or older or disabled.

Weatherization Assistance Program

The Weatherization Assistance Program inspects your home and provides solutions to help lower your energy costs and make your home healthier and safer. Local work crews and/or contractors will weatherize your home to make it more energy-efficient.

Find out more about the Weatherization Assistance Program


Featured image FEMA Photo Library by Patsy Lynch