Since 1974, the Community Development Block Grant program has provided financial assistance for home improvement projects through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through the CDBG program, low and moderate-income families can apply for grant assistance for home improvement and renovation purposes. On a yearly basis, the CDBG awards grant monies to 1,209 state and local government agencies.
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Entitlement Community Grants
Entitlement community grants provide for metropolitan areas with populations of 50,000 or more and urban counties with populations of 200,000 or more, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. City and local governments determine how allotted grant monies are used within their communities based on the guidelines laid out by the Community Development Block Grant program. Entitlement community grants are designed to target deteriorating areas and neighborhoods for improvement and prevent further deterioration from taking place. Rehabilitation and restoration projects involve fixing homes considered unsafe due to hazardous materials exposures, structural decline or unsafe electrical and sewage operations.
The Community Development Block Grant program issues state-administered grants to state and local governments for areas that don’t qualify for the entitlement community grants program. Cities or metropolitan areas with populations of 50,000 or less and counties or rural areas with populations of 200,000 or less are eligible for state-administered grant assistance according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Assistance money is designed to aid in community development, which includes the rehabilitation of private homes. Rehabilitation includes restoring dilapidating conditions such as roof and foundation repair as well as interior and exterior improvements. Unlike the entitlement grant program, state administered monies can be used towards for-profit purposes.
Disaster Recovery Grants
Disaster recovery grants are available primarily for low-income areas affected by a natural disaster that have been declared disaster areas by the President of the United States. Local or state governments that receive disaster recovery grants must use at least half of the money for restoring areas where low and moderate-income individuals and families live, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Disaster recovery projects include home restoration and repair for homes affected by a disaster and code enforcement restorations such as electrical and sewage repairs. Grant monies are also awarded to disaster victims in the form of down payment assistance for individuals and families displaced by the disaster as well as interest rate subsidies and loan assistance towards the purchase of a new home.