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Dear Mr. L.
I hope you are ready to do some work on this project. We found a whole lot of stuff that are good possibilities for you. But know what you have to do is clear away from some time. You know have to start contacting these offices yourself. Find a good phone where you can sit and read magazines or watch TV while you are on hold getting switched around in the government.
There is no magic to getting the money to need to fix up your place, but it may take you a bunch of work on the phone. And don't worry about the applications, they'll be pretty easy when you get them. The trick is finding the right application, and now you have all the tools to do just that.
1) Go through all the housing programs that are in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance. This is the government's directory of federal money programs and you can search by topic at www.cfda.gov. Contact any program that has the slightest possibility of helping you. I know you are looking for only grants, DON NOT SAY YOU NEED A GRANT. People do not realize that 90% of the free money available from the government is not called grants. They can be called direct payments, loans you don't have to pay back or even free services that will fix your home for you.
2) Find State, Local Government and Nonprofit Programs For Real EstateYou have to contact your state, city and county officials. Almost every state and local jurisdiction has money for housing and real estate. Many have money program to fix up houses. It will take some effort but it's worth the time. You can also locate your state, local and county government offices on the web at http://www.govengine.com/localgov/index.html
3) Eldercare LocatorContact these people right away. They may know of some programs in your areas just for seniors. But remember, no one person knows it all. So if they tell you there are no programs for you, just tell them "That's Nice Dear", and go ahead and continue contacting the sources you have.
The Eldercare Locator is a hotline provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging to assist older people and their families find community services for seniors anywhere in the country. Through the easy-to-use Eldercare Locator Web portal, older people and their families can search any time of day to find the nearest senior information and assistance service. Search the locator by state and zip code and also find links to other Web resources for seniors. Contact Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116; http://www.n4a.org/locator.cfm. Or contact you local area office on aging at, Department of Elderly Affairs, John O. Pastor Center, Benjamin Rush Building, #55, 35 Howard Road, Cranston, RI 02920401-462-0500, http://www.dea.state.ri.us/
4) More Local Sources Listed below are additional local sources that should be of particular interest to you. Make sure you contact each of these as well-
The following organizations can help you find local nonprofit organizations that offer financial assistance with housing in your area. These organizations do not provide money to home owners. What they can do is direct you to organizations in your area that may have funds or know where funds can be found for housing issues.
Below is a list of programs available from local organizations that we were able to identify in a recent research project we did on the city of Riverdale, California. This serves as an example of the kinds of programs that can be available in your local area:
1. No-Cost Weatherization for Riverside County2. Utility Assistance Helps Riverside County Pay the Bills3. FREE Technical Assistance & Fair Housing Services4. FREE Legal Assistance on Housing Issues5. One-Time Move-In and Other Assistance for Southern California6. More Temporary Assistance for Those in Need7. Build Your Home & Save Money on the Down Payment!8. Training, Technical Assistance & Information for Housing Professionals9. Low-Cost Housing for Families and Seniors throughout California10. FREE for Seniors: Moving Services Cover Everything!11. Shared Housing for Qualified People12. Complimentary Email Updates of Homes For-Sale13. $25,000 Grants for Community Redevelopment Projects14. Consulting & Technical Assistance Services for Developers15. Seniors Get $300 Home Repairs and Loans for Home Rehab16. Home Improvement Loans for Eastern LA County17. Down Payment and Other Help for SoCal Homebuyers18. More Down Payment Options for Eligible Buyers19. First Mortgages for Homebuyers who Need Extra Help20. Services to Help You Purchase the Home of Your Dreams21. Sweat Equity Gets You a New Home22. More Housing for Persons with AIDS23. No-Cost Weatherization Serves in Southern California24. Study Program for Community Developers25. Multi-Family Housing: Financing Helps Make it Affordable!26. $5.0 Million Financing for Affordable Housing27. Get Paid to Build an Energy-efficient Home28. FREE Home Improvements Plus Lower Utility Bills29. New Windows Pay Off30. Money Back When You Shop for Your Home!31. 21) Utility Bills Cut by 20% for Qualified Customers32. Golden Opportunity to Find a HUD Home!33. Grants & Loans for Disabled Homebuyers34. $4,500 Down Payment Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers35. Emergency Funds Help Pay Winter Energy Bills36. FREE Energy Analysis Helps Homebuyers Save Money!37. No Money Down, 100% Financed Home Purchases38. Flexible Mortgage Program for Hard-to-Qualify Borrowers39. High Quality Housing AND Technical Assistance for Homebuyers and Renters40. Affordable Homes for Rent in Southern California41. Down Payment Rebates up to $5,00042. Assistance for Tenants and Developers of HUD Housing43. Mortgage Assistance and Other Services Help Make Homeownership Affordable44. Loans and Technical Assistance to Help Keep Housing Affordable45. 90% Financing to Buy, Build or Rehab Multi-Family Housing46. $1.0 Million to Invest in an Apartment Building47. Money to Buy, Build or Save Affordable Housing48. Bank Foundation Provides Affordable Housing Grants to Developers49. Affordable Housing Investment Opportunity50. Real Estate Agents Specializing in HUD Housing and Other Government Programs51. Assistance for Organizations Who Own Farm Worker Housing52. Sweat Equity for Homes Built in the Country53. Up to $1.5 Million Loan Fund for Local Nonprofit Community Developers and Municipalities54. Up to $450,000 Grant Money for Members to Develop Housing55. $200,000 Available to Economic Developers for Housing Projects56. Up to $15,000 in Down Payment and/or Closing Costs!57. Grants Up to $15,000 for Homeownership Opportunities58. Low-Cost Funding for Community Developers59. Over $26.5 Million for Nonprofits to Develop Housing60. FREE Housing Information from Legal Experts61. More Housing Help for All of California62. Homebuyers Get 5% of Home Price for Down Payment Costs63. Long-Term Real Estate Financing64. Up to $1.0 Million Loans with Interest-Only Payments!65. $100,000 Pre-Development Loans for Housing Projects66. $2.3 Million Loans for Housing Development67. Technical Assistance Helps Housing Projects Succeed68. Help to Sell Your Land69. $19.0 Million Available for Working Families to Buy a Home70. $10.0 Million to Develop Housing in California71. Up to $15.0 Million for Housing Developers in California72. Tax Reductions for Affordable Housing Developers73. Affordable and Special Needs Housing Assistance for Tenants and Developers74. Loans for First-Time Homebuyers in California75. Money to Rehabilitate Your California Home!76. Find a Homebuilder in Your Area77. Help for Those Looking to Buy a New Home78. Construction Assistance for Residential Developments79. Financing Services Helps Developers Get Funding for Rental Housing80. Make Money; Sell Land for Affordable Housing Development81. Website Offers Homeownership Information82. $5,000 Grants for Projects that Benefit the Community83. FREE Home Repairs for the Elderly & Disabled in Riverside84. Newly Renovated Housing for Riverside Tenants85. Information & Referral for Disabled Housing Needs
If you are 62 years old or older and you own your own home, you may want to use a reverse mortgage to get some cash. In the past, the only ways to get cash out of your home was to sell your home or borrow against it. Now, reverse mortgages are available to help seniors tap into the wealth that has built up in their homes. Reverse mortgages don't require you to move or take on extra debt.
Reverse Mortgages work like traditional mortgages but in reverse. Instead of making a house payment each month, you receive a payment from your lender. Depending on the type of Reverse Mortgage and the lender, you can take the money in a lump sum, in monthly advances, through line-of-credit, or a combination of the three. Most Reverse Mortgage do not require any repayment of principal, interest or servicing fees, as long as you live in your home. These loans are called rising-debt loans for that reason. The money you receive usually may be used for any reason. For more information contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP; www.ftc.gov
Cities, counties, townships, and even local nonprofit organizations around the country offer grants to people who need emergency work done on their home or apartment. The income requirements can go up to $42,000 for a couple.
To find programs you may qualify for in your area you must search 1) your city or township government, 2) your county government, as well as 3) local nonprofit agencies and local development corporations. Make sure you check with all of the following offices for help in locating appropriate organizations in your area 1) your local library, 2) your local elected officials, 3) your local United Way and 4) all housing agencies in your area. Local government offices can be identified at www.govengine.com and your local United Way can be identified at http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/. Listed below is a sampling of similar local programs around the country. They should give you an indication of the kind of help that may be available in your area too.
1) $2,500 Grant For Emergency House Repairs for 62 or olderNeighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, Inc.Jamaica, New Yorkhttp://nhsjamaica.org/services/senior-emergency-loans.asp
2) Free Minor Home Repairs For 62 or older and Income less than $41,000Los Angeles Housing DepartmentLos Angeles, CAhttp://losangeles.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lacity.org%2Flahd%2Fhndywrkr.htm
3) $5,000 Home Repair Grant For 55+ and 50% Of Median IncomeFirst Ward Action Council, Inc.Binghamton, NYhttp://www.firstwardaction.org/seniorepair.html
4) $3,500 Grant For Emergency Repairs for Seniors Making $25,650Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment AgencySacramento, CAhttp://www.shra.org/Content/Housing/HomeRepair/ERP.htm
5) $2,500 Grant for Emergency Repair For Seniors Making $25,350City of Colorado Springs, Housing Rehabilitation Program, Emergency RepairColorado Springs, COhttp://www.servingourseniors.org/services.htm
6) $5,000 Grant To Fix Up 1 to 4 Family Unites of Seniors Making $25,100Margert Community CorporationNew York City's Queens County, NYhttp://www.margert.org/majorprograms/restore.html
A nonprofit organization called Hearts and Hammers has volunteers around the country who perform house repairs for seniors and people with disabilities, They can repair porches, siding and trim, replace winders or doors, provide landscaping, repair or replace exterior, and more. Income requirement can go up to $34,000. George and Laura Bush even contributed to this organization. Contact your local public library to see if there are volunteers in your area. Or contact one or both of the larger groups mentioned below to see if they can identify a group near you.
Getting little repairs done around the home is not only difficult for low income seniors, it can be a problem for all seniors. Many communities now have programs run by volunteers or with public or private grant money that provide small repairs for seniors under certain incomes. Other areas offer handy man services at reduced costs from safe providers. To find programs you may qualify for in your area you must search 1) your city or township government, 2) your county government, as well as 3) local nonprofit agencies and local development corporations. Make sure your check with all of the following offices for help in locating appropriate organizations in your area 1) your local library, 2) your local elected officials, 3) your local United Way and 4) all housing agencies in your area. Local government offices can be identified at www.govengine.com and your local United Way can be identified at http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/. Listed below is a sampling of similar local programs around the country. You can also contact your local Area Office on Aging by calling 1-800-677-1116 or go to http://www.aoa.gov/eldfam/How_To_Find/Agencies/Agencies.aspListed below is a sampling of the types of programs that are available around the country.They should give you an indication of the kind of help that may be available in your area too.
1) Senior Volunteers Do Handyman Chores For Price of SuppliesCouncil on Aging Winchester Seniors AssociationWinchester, MAhttp://www.jenkscenter.org/new_page_9_COA.htm
2) 39 Organizations In NY Get State Money To Fix Up Senior Homes With Incomes Up To $34,000Residential Emergency Services To Offer Home Repairs To Elderly (RESTORE)New York Statehttp://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ocd/progs/restore/ocdprgre.htm
3) $25 First Hour + Cost Of Materials For 60+Handyman Services For Tier Township ResidentsWillmett, ILhttp://www.wilmette.com/health/nurse.asp?nId=7
4) Minor Repairs, Home Modifications For Low- Income Over 60Safety of Seniors Handyman ProgramDenver, COhttp://www.voacolorado.org/handyman/
5) Free Handyman For 62+ and Income Under $41,900Handyworker Program Housing DepartmentLos Angeles, CAhttp://www.lacity.org/lahd/hndywrkr.htm
Even if you are not approved for the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, you might still be eligible for short-term assistance on your utility bill from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP offers heating and cooling subsidies and energy crisis intervention to assist in weather-related or fuel supply shortages and household energy-related emergencies, such as utility shutoffs.
For the national office contact Office of Community Services, Division of Energy Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, 5th Floor West, Washington, DC 20447; 202-401-9351; toll-free 866-674-6327; www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/liheap --Income Eligibility Requirements: up to $28,418 for a family of 4
Or pay a reduced amount. Almost all states have some type of property or homestead tax exemption for the elderly and disabled, and often for those with low incomes or veterans. For example, the program in Massachusetts offers a tax credit of $850 for senior homeowners or renters, 65+, with income below $55,000. And they can get a check for $850 even if they owe no taxes. The program varies from state to state, with some states offering a reduced tax rate off a percentage of the home's value. Other states offer a property tax deferral program for the elderly, where the state would pay the homeowner's property taxes. This would be considered a loan, and the equity would be the value of the home. The loan would be repaid when the home was sold or the homeowner dies. Contact your state or county tax office to see what your area offers at Rhode Island Division of Taxation, One Capital Hill, Providence, RI 02908; 401-222-1040; http://www.tax.state.ri.us/
Are you tired yet? I know it is a major effort to track down what you need. But if you are a senior you already know that life is not easy. And it takes work to get what you really need in life. The problem is that our life has become so complicated and no one person has all the answers. Even the experts don't even know what they are talking about nowadays. But what is wonderful about this complicated society, is that most of the good information is free, and most of the best help in our society is free. But the people handing out the free stuff do not have money to advertise that they are giving away the money. So it is up to us citizens to find out what is there that we are already paying for. American is a wonderful country full of opportunities; we just have to start learning how to use the system.
Once you go thru this process of finding the money you need for your home your life will change because you will now know that you can live the rest of your life believing that the world is full of answers to anything, and you just have to put in some time to get them.
You now have all the tools to do it. Thirty million Americans a year use these resources, and you can be among them no matter what your age.
Matthew Lesko www.lesko.com