Television (TV) commercials make it seem easy to get government money for roof repairs, and it can be. Several roofing grant programs administered by the federal government, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), can help you cover the costs of a new roof.
Below, we’ll cover where to find these grants and how to apply for them.
Why Should You Seek Government Grants for Roof Replacement?
Replacing a roof is a costly home improvement project. Typically, the average cost of a new roof is $8,000, but depending on the size and materials of your home, it can range from $5,000 to $11,000.
Unfortunately, many families, especially those living on a fixed income, cannot afford the cost of a replacement roof if their homeowner insurance policies don’t cover them and they don’t have external financial assistance. Fortunately, if you research government assistance programs, those search result government grants can help you secure a grant amount to offset the price of a new roof.
Which Government Grants Are Available?
There are two ways to find government grants for roof replacement: online and through your local government office.
The first step to determining if you qualify for one of the grants for roof replacement is to visit government entities’ websites to see if they have roof repair assistance programs listed. You can search for specific housing preservation program options to help with roof replacement costs. The government grants for roof replacement that are currently available are:
- USDA Rural Housing Service: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Office provides grants for homeowners in rural areas to make improvements to their homes. They are usually called Section 504 Home Repair. The USDA also offers the Housing Preservation Grant, which helps low-income families seek grants to make necessary repairs, such as roof replacement.
- Weatherization Assistance Program: The Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program provides grants to very low-income families and rental property owners to make their homes more energy-efficient.
- Energy Program for Native American Populations: This Department of Energy complements state energy program options in that they allow those individuals living on federally recognized tribal lands an opportunity to develop renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, and hydroelectric. This government grants program also allows qualified tribal community applicants to replace their roofs.
- The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD offers a wide variety of assistance options, including a block grant program, to help homeowners living in very low-income communities with home repairs, including free roof replacement grants through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Needy families, such as ones with young dependent children or who live in low-income housing areas with health and safety hazards, often qualify for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
The federal government grant programs listed above aren’t the only ones available to assist with the cost of a new roof. States and local governments also offer grant programs.
Eligibility, Including Median Income Requirements, for Government Grants for Roof Replacement
The government programs mentioned above have distinct eligibility criteria, including:
The Section 504 Home Repair program provides grants for the necessary repairs of homes, including roof replacement. The program helps repair, improve, or modernize the homes of low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities by offering repair loans and grants, like the Handicapped Accessibility Improvement Program. To qualify, applicants must:
- Be unable to afford credit anywhere else.
- Have a total household income at or below 50% of the median household income for the county (as determined by local and state governments).
- Have an income that doesn’t exceed the county or local government’s low limits.
- Senior citizens must be 62 or older to seek assistance to address problems with their existing roof and also be unable to repay a repair loan.
Housing Preservation Grant
The Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program helps very low-income homeowners with home repairs, including roof replacement, by providing grants, loans, and interest reduction payments to eligible applicants. The program is available in rural zones, like Section 504. To qualify, applicants must be:
- A state, commonwealth, public non-profit, or political division is authorized to receive and administer HPG funds.
- Private low-income organizations, including nonprofits and faith-based entities, intending to use the funds for reasons other than making profits.
- An American Indian tribe, group, or nation considered to be a lawful applicant under the Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975.
The Weatherization Assistance Program
This program allows very low-income households and owners of rental properties to improve their health and safety standards. The program also reduces energy expenses, such as heating and cooling costs, by making recipients’ homes more energy efficient. Eligibility requirements for this roof repair program include:
- You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, often referred to incorrectly as supplemental insurance income
- Income in the household must be at or below 60% of the state median income
- Households at or below 200% of the poverty line
- Low-income families with children, elderly, or disabled members
- High-energy users
The Tribal Energy Program
The energy program is available to American Indian tribes and Alaska native villages to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The program provides technical assistance, education, and job opportunities resources to help tribes reduce energy costs, which can free up money for other needs, like roof replacement. Projects must meet the following requirements to receive funding:
- Be located on federally recognized tribal land
- Be owned by the tribe or a tribal entity
- Have as its primary goal to reduce energy consumption and costs or to develop renewable energy resources
The Neighborhood Stabilization Act
This program assists neighborhoods with high proportions of abandoned and foreclosed homes and those with yearly income up to 120% of the area’s median. Recipients must:
- Be in a designated NSA area
- Be a government entity or nonprofit organization
- Be capable of administering the grant
People who believe they meet the eligibility criteria for the above-referenced programs should consult the HUD website for additional details about how to apply for them.
Replacing Your Roof Doesn’t Have to be Stressful
Replacing your roof can be a costly home improvement project, but you may be eligible for financial assistance through one of several federal grant programs. These grants can help offset the cost of a new roof and make this necessary home improvement more affordable for families across the country. For more information about these programs and how to apply for grant money, visit reputable resources online or contact the appropriate government offices for additional information.
These grants are typically need-based, meaning income level determines eligibility. These provide low or moderate-income families who can’t afford to pay a roofing contractor for a roof replacement on their own with what federal, state, and local governments determine is the average assistance amount you need to make minor repairs or fully replace your roof. However, there may be other programs available in your community that can help with the cost of roof replacement, so it’s always worth investigating your options.