Retirement is supposed to be an enjoyable time. You should be mindful of, but shouldn’t have to worry about your finances. Certainly, you shouldn’t need to worry about your housing situation. Unfortunately, this is the case for too many seniors. If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. Luckily, there are many government programs designed to help seniors with housing costs.
In July 2021, the average Social Security benefit for seniors was $1,556.72. If you prorate this figure over the course of a year, that means the average retired worker in America will receive $18,680.64 per year. It’s a nice gesture, but certainly not an amount you can comfortably live on. With the uncertainty of how long your retirement savings will need to last, it’s nice to know that there are some government housing programs to help.
Let’s take a look at the eight government home programs that seniors need to know about.
Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants
If you are a homeowner, live in the home as your primary residence, are unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere, and have a family income 50% below the median income in your area, you can apply for a Single Family Housing Repair Loan to repair, improve, or modernize your home.
If you satisfy the above conditions and are above the age of 62, you can apply for a grant that does not need to be repaid. If successful with a grant application, the grant must be used to remove health and safety hazards at your residence. The maximum grant available is $7,500.
The maximum available loan is $20,000. The loan can be repaid over the course of 20 years and has a fixed interest rate of 1%. If you are eligible for both the loan and grant you can apply for both to receive a maximum value of $27,500.
You can apply for this program through your local Rural Development office.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is designed to help homeowners and their families manage costs associated with energy bills and energy-related home repairs. This program can help ensure that your home is prepared to battle the cold of winter and the heat of summer.
To be eligible for this program you must need financial assistance to cover home energy costs. If you already participate in other government assistance programs like SNAP, SSI, or TANF, you may be automatically eligible.
To qualify, your annual household income before taxes must be below set dollar amounts. You can see if you qualify using the tool available here.