Low-income housing grants are one segment of the overall grant funds available for housing. HUD publishes an annual listing of qualifying income limits on their huduser.org webpage, which allows the user to see what income limits apply to their specific area.
Low-income housing grants offer funds for rent assistance, remodeling or renovation assistance for safety and accessibility, and occasionally, as in the case of the BIA’s (Bureau of Indian Affairs) small grant program for housing on Indian reservations, construction cost assistance.
Grants for low-income housing, like most Federal grants, are not directly open to individuals. The funds are released as block grants or are limited to applications by non-profit agencies or governmental entities.
There are also private agencies that focus on low-income housing grants or assistance. Some of these charities raise funds to purchase distressed or foreclosure properties, renovate them, and then make them available at reduced rates for low-income individuals or families. In most cases, these non-profits also access funds through the Federal grant programs for repairs or renovations. Many of them maintain websites with state-specific property listings.
In areas impacted by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, there may be special funding released as grants for disaster recovery that have a low-income housing component.
Applications for low-income housing grants require good documentation of need, and nearly always require an evaluation plan. The program outline will need to provide assurances to the granting agency that the program can be sustained after the grant funds are exhausted, and meeting the measurable outcomes on time and on budget are critical. If the low-income housing grant is a multi-year award, the receipt of funding after the initial award will depend on how well the grantee accomplishes each milestone. In many cases, the end user of the program funds will need to agree to on-going property inspections to assure that the funds are being used according to the terms of the original grant.