Do you qualify? Will the government help to repair or improve your home?

bathroomWant to add an addition onto your home? Renovate your bathroom or basement? Learn about programs to help pay for your home improvements, as well as tips on hiring a contractor to do the work.

Find Loans and Other Incentives

The most common type of financial help from the government for home repairs or modifications is through home improvement loan programs backed by the government. The loans are through traditional lenders, like banks, but the programs help these lenders make loans that they might normally not fulfill. Some programs are available on a nationwide basis, while others are only on a state or county level. To learn about the options available to you, contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office.

You may also contact your local, state, or county government housing department.

Find out about loans and other incentives for energy efficient modifications in your state.

Assistance for Certain Demographic Groups

Help is available to the following groups:

Modifying and Repairing Your Home

Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements on your home is important. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides resources and tips on hiring a contractor, questions to ask, and how to report problems.

Before digging on your property, call 811 or submit an online digging request several days in advance, even if it is just a small project like planting trees or shrubs.

Home Equity Loans

home equity loan is a form of credit where your home is used as collateral to borrow money. It’s typically used to pay for major expenses (education, medical bills, and home repairs). However, if you cannot pay back the home equity loan, the lender could foreclose on your home.

Types of Home Equity Loans

There are two types of home equity loans:

  • Lump sum – A one-time, closed-end loan that usually has a fixed interest rate.
  • Revolving line of credit – You can withdraw the funds at any time for more flexibility. These usually have adjustable interest rates.

For further information about home equity loans, refer to What You Should Know about Home Equity Lines of Credit (PDF, Download Adobe Reader), a guide by the Federal Reserve Board.

Talk to a Qualified Credit Counselor

You should consider carefully before taking out a home equity loan. If you are unable to make payments on time, you could end up losing your home. Before taking out a home equity loan, you should explore alternatives with a credit counselor that do not potentially put your home at the risk of a forced sale.

File a Complaint

If you have a problem with a home equity loan, you should contact the lender first. If you cannot resolve the issue with the lender, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides low-income households with free weatherization services, such as improvements for heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, and electricity consuming appliances.

Get Help with Your Home Energy Bill

If you need help to pay your home energy costs, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)may be able to help with the following expenses:

  • Bill payments
  • Weatherization and energy-related home repairs
  • Energy crisis assistance

To apply for help, contact your local LIHEAP agency:

For additional help applying for LIHEAP benefits, call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) at 1-866-674-6327 (TTY: 1-866-367-6228) or e-mail [email protected].