Low-income families can find a wide array of government grants such as housing, emergency food assistance, rural and disability programs. Depending on the program, the low-income grants provide direct assistance to individual families or can be distributed through local government or private administrative agencies. Grant programs for low-income families are awarded according to income and family size.


Federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provide grants for a variety of low-income housing programs. The grants consist of financial assistance to cover housing repair costs, rental assistance for the elderly and urban residents and Healthy Homes Initiative Grants. The Healthy Homes Initiative Grant is open to non-profit and government agencies that seek financial support to renovate residential structures that are free from health hazards, which may cause injuries or diseases in children. Housing repair grants are offered directly to low-income homeowners, and can be used to cover the costs for home modernizations.

Emergency Food and Shelter

Low-income residents as well as homeless and hungry individuals qualify for government emergency food and shelter programs. National organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers grant money to private and government social service organizations. FEMA provides grant funding including the 2009 ARRA Emergency Food and Shelter Grant. In addition to offering financial support for emergency food and shelter, FEMA assists low-income residents who are victims of natural disaster with rental and housing support. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service provides food donations to low-income individuals and families.

Rural Assistance

Low-income rural residents can find financial support through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. The USDA also offers loans and technical support to low income rural families. Rural grants include low-income housing repair and modernization assistance as well as wastewater and technical assistance grants. Housing repair grants for low-income residents can be used for the removal of hazardous materials from homes. The grant is provided to residents who are over the age of 62. Non-profit organizations that assist low-income rural families with building homes can apply for Self-Help Technical Assistance Grants.

Disability Assistance

Low-income families qualify for a variety of private and government disability grants. The programs are made possible through support from organizations such as, the National Council on Aging and the Department of Veteran Affairs. The National Council on Aging supports non-profit agencies in their efforts to enroll low-income families and individuals with disabilities into public benefit programs. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provided a one-time grant of $36 million to provide housing support for homeless veterans living in 35 states.