There is a variety of homeowner assistance available when it comes to home improvement grants in Pennsylvania. Not everyone qualifies for all grants however, so it’s important to really think through your situation and find your own unique background to help secure a specific grant, loan or rebate from the state or federal government.
Finding grants in Pennsylvania for your home improvement projects can take some leg work. There are literally dozens of agencies at the state level alone focusing on the specific needs of communities all across Pennsylvania. Keep in mind that not all grants will be categorized specifically under home improvement needs. They may be related to broader themes such as conservation, community upgrades, veteran or low-income family support for Pennsylvania residents. Rest assured, each office is dedicated to explaining their current grant support types and qualifying requirements, and actually want the grant application process to be easy in most cases.
Speaking of making grant hunting easy, you’ll find that “e-grants” have become the primary and more convenient way to apply for home repair grants in Pennsylvania because you can do it right online. This eliminates the need to fill out paperwork or make phone calls regarding individual aid offerings.
That said, you’ll want to be aware of potential scams related to home improvement grants in Pennsylvania specifically. Unfortunately, this state has one of the highest rate of grant frauds. Here’s how it works: Residents receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to offer government grants for home improvements in Pennsylvania. The caller actually sounds legitimate, such as identifying themselves as a HUD agent. This is until they ask for your personal banking information. Unsuspecting homeowners are then promised to receive a check deposited into their bank after a brief survey about their home and desired repairs. Be assured that in no way do Pennsylvania home improvement grants work this way. No Pennsylvanian agency will ever require your financial information up front and will never deposit grant funds directly into your accounts.
Now, with that small warning out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get money from Pennsylvania to help you update and upgrade your home. The following list gives you a starting point in which to direct your efforts to find and apply for grants in PA. Again, remember that you need to find your unique angle into these funds. Are you making updates related to environmental concerns or accessibility improvements? Does your income level, age, health, veteran or education status help qualify you for Pennsylvanian grant money? Can you use the grant money to save your city precious resources or help improve the quality of your town by rehabilitating old structures or maintaining what you have through modernization? These are all factors to think about as you look for grant assistance in Pennsylvania. This is true, whether you live in a large city like Philadelphia or a small township.
Grants for home improvements – Pennsylvania
- Pennsvest provides loans and grants to homeowners in need of repairing or replacing on-lot sewage equipment, installing better drinking and waste water management systems.
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) offer much assistance through grants. These are more at the community level, but if you have a small business or non-profit organization that say, is run out of your personal home residence, you may qualify for money geared toward conservation, including water, air, power, etc.
- Pennsylvania Accessible Housing Program (PAHP) supports home improvement projects for disabled or low to moderate income folks. Think: wall-bars for toilets and baths, larger bathrooms, and any other alterations to make the home more livable.
- Boating Infrastructure Grant Program: Do you own a large boat, or do you live on a lake or river? The PA Fish and Boat Commission is offering state grant money if you’d like to improve docking/tie-up or fishing facilities.
- The Pennsylvania Sunshine Program offers rebates to homeowners making home improvements with solar. Upgrade your water heater or your home’s electrical system using the sun, and the state will reimburse you part of the cost.
- Pennsylvania sponsors Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) grants with the help of the federal government. The focus with this program is home rehabilitation as it relates to improving a township or larger city.
- Keystone HELP Energy Efficiency Program provides loans and grants for improving your home’s energy efficiency. With these funds, you can afford a new air conditioner or home heater. Any homeowner can use the funds to seal up their home, add insulation or install better windows. See keystonehelp.com for more information.
- Pennsylvania’s Core Communities Housing Program is a traditional assistance program aimed at improving homes and towns in Pennsylvania in the bigger picture. For example, funding can be received to tear down older, dilapidated homes and replace them with modern residential structures to help community development as a whole.
One tip in your research for federal and Pennsylvania home improvement grants is to contact your state senator. In Pennsylvania, for example, Senator Pat Toomey’s office offers a wealth of information from how to get started to pointers on applying for grants from the those that offer them. Contact Pat’s office to learn more. This is just one more avenue to pursue to get financial help with your home repairs.
The short list above is merely an example of the types of grants offered in the state of Pennsylvania. Contacting your local HUD office is also a great way to find current and upcoming home repair grant opportunities being offered in Pennsylvania.
The words of encouragement here are to keep plugging away as you search for money. There will be plenty of phone calls and emails you’ll have to make. It may even feel like you’re getting passed on to different representatives as you seek information. The main reason for this is that many Pennsylvania home improvement grants are not always right in front of you. Be polite and patient! If you can carry those characteristics with you along with your clear-cut reasons for needing grant money for your home then you will eventually succeed in attaining some kind of financial support.
Creativity and being clever are also key traits to have during your journey. For example, there may be creative ways to show what you plan to do with home improvement grants or rebate dollars for. Pictures, graphs and a list of benefits related to a theme would go a long way, once you get it in front of decision makers.
In summary, you need to show what a given Pennsylvania home repair grant would do for you and your situation. It’s in your best interest to figure out the goals of the grant giver and align your project with those. Don’t give up and know that there are grants ready for you to take advantage of.