Housing rehabilitation loan and grant programs
- Provide funds in the form of loans and/or grants to income-eligible owner-occupants to assist with repair, rehabilitation, and/or reconstruction of homes.
- Some programs tie funding to specific forms of home improvement, like insulation, plumbing, or mold removal.
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)
Proven (highest tier)
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Low- and moderate-income adults and families
Outcomes and impact
- Can decrease disparities in access to quality housing and housing-related health outcomes
- Positive impacts on the stability and quality of neighborhood housing
- Health benefits are particularly strong when focused on increasing housing insulation and warmth
- Correlated with improvements in school attendance, work attendance, frequency of doctor’s visits, and reduced hospitalizations
Keys to successful implementation
- Define a set of priorities and corresponding criteria for targeting and selecting loan and grant applicants, such as home safety, habitability, energy efficiency, and/or accessibility.
- Clearly communicate loan and grant applicant eligibility criteria, including income, family size, age (such as a program for senior housing), and other factors that align with policy priorities and community needs.
- Consider tailoring grants or loans to meet specific needs within a community, such as lead remediation for communities with older housing stocks, mold remediation in humid climates, and more.
- Ensure the program offers large enough loans and grant awards to allow recipients to fully mitigate health risks; while costs vary, successful grant programs have awarded as much as $7,500, while loans have reached $20,000.
- Consider offering and encourage applicants to apply for both grants and loans, and to consider funding home improvements using a combination of both if they are able to repay part of the loan.
- Coordinate across local agencies to ensure program implementation aligns with policy priorities across housing, planning and zoning, taxation and finance, and more.