When your neighbor tells you they’re building an addition to their house, but you know they can’t afford it, they may have gotten the money from housing grants for single parents. While it may make no sense to you, their financial position may have been a catalyst that allowed them to apply to the federal government or to their local government grants branch that will allow them to build or to renovate their home. If you are in a similar economic position and need a little help financially to ensure your home is up to scratch, you may be able to apply for this type of financial aid from the government too.
If you’re thinking, ‘This sounds like a really good idea,’ but you’re not quite sure where to start, use this handy guide to help you make a change for the better. It details the benefits of housing grants for single parents and how to apply for them, the details of specific grants and some information that you may not yet know. It also discusses who can apply for grants, and the drawbacks of doing so.
What are housing grants for Single Parents?
Property grants are gifts of financial aid given to the citizens of a country by its government, either in monetary form or in the form of property. These grants are given to the recipients to help them in a situation where they do not have any money of their own. If they have lost a home, as happened during Hurricane Katrina for example, where some people lost their homes and all of their possessions, and apply for a grant, they can then use that money to build a new home or to buy an existing house. Similarly, if they own a property, they can use these grants to do essential repairs or develop it to make it more suitable to their specific family situation. If they own a two-bedroom home for example, and have three children, they could use the money from a grant to build an extra room.
The types of housing grants for single parents currently available in the US include:
- Rural housing assistance
- Rent payment grants
- First time buyer grants
- Repair and improvement grants
- Grants for the elderly
- The veterans housing grants
All of these are essential to the good economy and healthy society of a country, assisting those who have lost their houses with getting their lives in order.
Rural Housing Assistance
The rural housing assistance grant is one that probably exists in almost any first world country, such as America, England or even South Africa. This grant allows those who are in impoverished circumstances receive aid in the form of housing. The recipients are given the chance to help develop in rural areas with the intention of giving them a safe and warm place to live in as they work to keep their jobs, or indeed to find jobs. This grant applies not just to rural dwellers, but also to the elderly or disabled. In a nutshell, it gives those who live in areas where there is little or no work, and few housing prospects a chance to improve their lives, and their living conditions.
Rent Payment Grants
Rent payment grants are very specific in that they do not offer recipients the option of buying a house as permanent home, or fixing an existing house. These types of housing grants for single parents give rental vouchers to people who wish to rent homes or apartments for themselves and their families, and need a security check or rent assistance. These are also state specific, so before applying for a rent payment grant, applicants should check with their home state’s housing department to see what rules apply and how much they can get in terms of a grant. Remember too that though rental grants are helpful, they should only be used as a temporary measure as paying rent is draining on the individual and the economy.
First Time Buyer Grants
For first time buyers of houses and apartments, the whole process can be daunting, but the US government encourages the ownership of property and has thus included in its offerings to potential home owners, the first time buyers grant. This grant helps first time buyer to purchase their dream home in one of two ways. Either, they are given a grant that covers their down payment on a house, or they are given a very low interest loan to help them pay their mortgage. This could be the difference for some people between buying their own home and continuing to rent. Of course the government encourages people to buy because it is better for the economy in the long run, and for the people involved, whereas rentals just feeds to the landlord’s pockets.
Repair and Improvement Grants
Many people own houses that are slowly going into disrepair. Houses become weather-beaten, things crumble and fall down and for some people, even fixing a broken window or a leaky faucet can be an expensive exercise that they just can’t afford. That is why repair and improvement grants allow these people to take real ownership of their houses and keep them in tip top shape. These housing grants for single parents allow homeowners to renovate their houses, to fix what is broken or to make bigger improvements to increase the value of their home or make it more comfortable for themselves and their families. These grants can be given by the federal government, but in most cases are actually handed out by community programs for homeowners.
Grants for the Elderly
Keeping in mind just how many people live in America, we next turn our attention to the elderly. America is heavily populated with men and women over the age of 65, and in the case where they are not already home owners, the government gives grants to ensure they can rent safe and clean housing. In some cases, the government even allocates housing to them to ensure they are taken care of. Similar to this is the government’s provision of housing to the disabled, that is, to those who cannot work due to a debilitating disability. In this case, the government ensures that both the person with the disability and their family can afford to live in a safe neighborhood, and in a house that is suitable to the size of the family.
The Veterans Housing Grants
America is still heavily populated with those veterans who saw war in both Korea and Vietnam, and to this end, the government provides grants for those veterans who otherwise would have nowhere to live. Even in this day and age, we have a potential workforce that has been reduced by the incidence of the fighting in Iraq, and this has left many young men and women disabled, or left their families impoverished. This grant is specifically given to those persons who were injured in the aforementioned wars, and thus cannot work or to their families who cannot make an income without them. The government is committed to providing an environment for these veterans that is free of the barriers of disability and allows them to live the rest of their days without worrying about where the money is coming from.
Who qualifies for these grants?
In the United States, almost anyone can qualify for housing grants if they can prove that they have a low or no income. The government is committed to ensuring that its citizens are taken care of, and so for those who have low paying jobs or no jobs at all, grants are a reality, and the government and their respective communities encourage them to apply.
Of course, there are some who try to apply for grants without having any real claim to them, those who could be considered middle-income or middle-class and are looking for some extra money to do home renovations or for some other purpose. In this case, the government imposes very strict restrictions on these grants to ensure they are not being misspent. In this case, the government takes a very stern approach and can prosecute those who falsify their need for a grant. This is considered fraud and is a federal offense.
When can applicants ask for housing grants?
Housing grants for single parents are available to all the citizens of America, and can be applied for when and as necessary. For example, the people of New Orleans would have had to apply for these grants in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, since the natural disaster took their homes and possessions from them unexpectedly. They would have applied after this natural disaster.
Of course, some people don’t need a natural disaster to apply for a housing grant. If the sole provider for a family loses his or her job for example, he or she would need to apply for a housing grant when they could prove that they had no other source of income or that they had depleted their savings. Single mothers are another good example of recipients of rental grants. Their main priority is focused on getting enough money to provide for their child and to cover the basic costs of living, something they may not be able to do without some financial assistance for single parents.
Is America the only country that provides such comprehensive grants?
Though the American housing grants system is one of the most comprehensive and takes almost every group into account, most first world countries offer housing grants for single parents to their citizens in need, especially in Europe. In fact, Norway and Denmark offer some of the most highly-sought after housing grants in the European Union.
If we take South Africa as an example, one would find that though the grants are many, the amounts received by applicants are not very substantial. This is because many citizens of the country live in townships or settlements within tin shacks or very small brick houses provided by the government. Due to the country’s massive poverty problem, the government cannot provide housing grants for single parents to every single citizen. Of course, this is not restricted just to Africa, and there are many countries, especially those in the Far East and in rural South America that suffer similar problems.
How does one apply for a single parent housing grant?
If you have read through this article and seen yourself reflected in any of the situations described, you may have cause to apply for a housing grant. Before you do so, you need to have some documents ready, as laid out below.
Firstly, determine which grant you need. This will be based on whether or not you have a disability, when the last time was that you worked, your marriage and financial status and many other factors. Remember that you will need to provide proof of your claim, so be prepared to provide anything from a birth certificate to proof of a last paycheck. You will be able to find a wealth of information on the internet, but in some cases, it is better to go to your local government housing office and discuss your options with a government representative.
When submitting your grant application, look to the fine print to see which documents you need to include. If applying for disability housing grants for single parents, you will need to be able to prove your disability with a doctor’s note, which can be obtained from your local doctor after a physical exam. You need to be able to prove that your disability makes you incapable of working and providing for your family, so ensure your doctor includes that in his recommendation, if that is the case.
If you are applying for a rural housing grant, you will have to prove that you are a living in a rural area, and that you cannot move your family to a more populated area. For the details of this, discuss your options with your government housing representative to see what options are available. For renovations, you will need to ensure you get a quotation from house builders or renovators so that you can submit the amount you wish to apply for. Don’t forget to take all of your documentation with you.
As the cost of living soars upwards, it is reassuring to know that in a country such as America, housing grants for single parents allow a higher standard of living for those who cannot provide for themselves.