Home grants for persons with disabilities are more generally available to local agencies and nonprofit organizations than to individual persons. Federal home grant programs are designed to provide funds to these agencies and organizations in order to create opportunities for persons with disabilities, such as affordable housing or home remodeling to facilitate independent living. You are more likely to find funds or services for your individual needs from these agencies and organizations.
HUD Section 811 Housing Program
The primary federal program designed specifically to provide housing assistance for persons with disabilities is called the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program. The program was established in 1990 as part of the National Affordable Housing Act. The program is administered by the Office of Housing, a division of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The purpose of the program is to assist persons with disabilities live as independently as possible by providing grants to nonprofit organizations to provide affordable housing. The program also provides rental assistance to persons with disabilities who qualify as very low-income, typically receiving Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.
HUD Voucher Program
HUD's major grant program for assisting individuals with housing is the housing choice voucher program. Persons with disabilities, as well as the elderly and low-income families, are eligible. The unique aspect of the program is that the vouchers are provided directly to the individual program participants who find their own housing, which can be an apartment, single-family home or multi-family home. The choice vouchers are distributed through public housing agencies in the local community. The downside of the voucher program is that demand usually exceeds the available resources which results in long waiting times for eligible applicants.
The federal government's website Disability.gov also provides a number of resources to find home grant programs specifically intended for persons with disabilities. For example, the site provides a link to the Housing & Mortgages for People with Disabilities Guide, which provides information on financial assistance programs designed to help persons with disabilities become homeowners, as well essential information on the home buying process. Disability.gov also provides links to each state's Housing Finance Agency regarding home financial assistance programs at the local level.
Independent Living Centers
A valuable resource for a person with disabilities is an independent living center. These centers began in the early 1970s with the enactment of the federal Rehabilitation Act. These centers can be found at the state level and provide housing assistance for persons with disabilities, including renting, buying or remodeling a home to make it accessible. Centers can also be found in the local community providing the same services. All state and local independent living centers can be found using the website for Independent Living Research Utilization.
Private nonprofit organizations also provide housing resources for persons with disabilities that may include grants and services given directly to individuals. These nonprofit organizations, such as Rebuilding Together, are often filling the gap between rising home costs and falling budgets for government social programs. Although the focus of these organizations may be broader than just serving the housing needs of persons with disabilities, they should not be overlooked as a source of grants and services for meeting the housing needs of a person with disabilities.
Joe Stone is a freelance writer in California who has been writing professionally since 2005. His articles have been published on LIVESTRONG.COM, SFgate.com and Chron.com. He also has experience in background investigations and spent almost two decades in legal practice. Stone received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles.