Grants for Emergency Home Repair

Emergency home repair assistance is also known as disaster assistance, and you can get it through grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or some charitable organizations.

Facts

You must apply for the grant money and state why you need the help.

Disaster assistance is a government or nonprofit-provided service that allows people to apply for aid after a natural disaster. These grants cover losses that insurance companies do not cover. You may also get an emergency repair grant if your home is in such poor condition that you cannot safely live in it.

Obtain an Estimate

Before you begin looking for grants, you must ascertain the damage to your home and the losses you have incurred. A reputable building contractor may provide a free estimate. Make sure that you get the estimate in writing (typewritten for clarity) and that you keep copies of it. You will need this information during the grant application process.

FEMA

Depending on the damage to your home, FEMA may offer you temporary housing, either providing a new, temporary residence or giving you money to stay somewhere. Alternatively, FEMA will provide money for the repair of your home. Unfortunately, FEMA will not necessarily restore the home to its condition before the disaster, but it will make the home sanitary and functional. FEMA may also replace your home by helping with the cost of obtaining a new home. FEMA will only assist you if your damage exceeds your insurance coverage and if you are in a county that the government has declared a disaster.

Housing and Urban Development

The Emergency Capital Repair Grant Program (ECRGP) is run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is designed to help you with home repair. ECRGP is a need-based program that focuses on elderly and low-income individuals. HUD provides grant money to repair homes to safe and livable condition, so requests must be for repairs necessary for your and your family's well-being.

Non-Profit Grants

Some nonprofit organizations provide grants to individuals for emergency home repair services. Just like the government agencies, nonprofits have an application process in which you say what repairs you need and why. Keep in mind that grants have deadlines, so complete your application earlier rather than later.

About the Author

Graham Beckett is an attorney in Los Angeles who has practiced in California since 2006, providing thoughtful analysis and writing on various legal issues. Additionally, he is an avid surfer, runner, and comedy writer, writing and performing in various sketch shows throughout Los Angeles.