If you are a homeowner in Hillsborough, County, FL, looking for free home repair assistance, the Affordable Housing Services (AHS) department has a variety of programs to help. The department provides funding to help residents bring their home to current building code and to address repairs that pose a safety hazard to its occupants. Typical renovations include plumbing repairs, room additions, electrical updates and ceiling repairs.
Additionally, AHS recognizes the need to help the elderly and those with disabilities maintain independent living. As such, the department provides grants to make home modifications that remove barriers to living and to enhance the quality of life in the home. Installation of grab bars, widening of doorways and cabinet modifications are just some of the items covered under one of the many free home repair programs.
Below is more information on the many Hillsborough, County, housing assistance programs available to help make necessary repairs to your home.
What Type Of Assistance Is Available?
With funding from the State Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP), the department offers 0% deferred payment loans to help residents with single-family home and mobile home repairs. Through the SHIP program, Hillsborough County, residents receive partial forgiveness of the loan each year they remain in the house as their primary residence. At the end of the loan term, the loan is satisfied, and the balance is forgiven. AHS also provides free money for home repairs in the form of grants. Each of the income-based programs are available to Hillsborough, County, residents outside the city of Tampa.
Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program
The goal of the Housing Rehabilitation Program is to ensure Hillsborough, County, residents have safe and inhabitable living conditions in their homes. As such, the program provides funds to help residents address safety issues and to make renovations to alleviate overcrowding. Residents may use the funds to make repairs, purchase or repair appliances. The grant also provides relief to homeowners who are experiencing unsafe living conditions due to overcrowding. As such, homeowners may use the funds to build additional rooms or to renovate existing rooms. The program provides loans for a maximum of $45,000 for a term of up to 20 years.
Qualifications for The Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program
To qualify for this needs-based free home repair assistance program, the resident’s income must be at or below 80% of the area median income as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Also, residents must have owned the home for at least two years, and be current on the mortgage, taxes and property insurance. Lastly, the resident must not have received financial assistance from AHS through another program within the past five years.
Those interested in applying for this program should contact the Hillsborough, County, Affordable Housing Services Department for further details.
Special Needs Housing Rehabilitation Program
Elderly residents of Hillsborough County and residents with disabilities may qualify for free home repair assistance from AHS. The Special Needs Housing Rehabilitation Grant provides home improvement grants for senior citizens and the disabled to remove barriers to independent living and to make enhancements for improved accessibility in the home. Types of renovations covered by the program include:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Grab bars and hand railings in bathrooms, kitchens or any rooms deemed necessary
- Widening of exterior and internal doorways to facilitate ease of entry and pass through to each room
- Kitchen and bathroom cabinet modifications to raise or lower countertops
The maximum amount of the grant is $20,000. Residents should contact AHS for more information on qualifications for this program.
How To Qualify for The Special Needs Housing Rehabilitation
AHS qualifies residents based on income, the location of the home, and disability status. The house must be in unincorporated Hillsborough, County, or the cities of Plant City or Temple Terrace. Further, residents must have lived in the home for at least two years and be current on mortgage, property taxes and homeowners insurance. Homeowners must have an income at or below 120% of the area median income based on household size. Those who qualify for the disabled and elderly home repair assistance program include:
- Persons receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
- Persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans receiving disability benefits
- Victims of domestic violence
- Young adults formerly in foster care who qualify for services as an adult
Residents interested in this program must contact one of the Affording Housing Department’s partner programs for more information on how to apply:
- Rebuilding Tampa Bay, Inc.
- Centre For Women (This agency specifically works to help residents 60 years of age and older. Residents who meet these criteria should contact the agency directly for more information.)
Low-Income Emergency Home Repair Program
The Affordable Housing Services Department provides funds to Hillsborough, County, residents to make emergency repairs for items that present an imminent threat to the occupant’s health, safety and welfare. Types of repairs eligible for the free home repair assistance program include:
- Plumbing repairs to address outdated or broken plumbing that pose a safety hazard
- Roof repair or replacement that presents an imminent danger to the home’s occupants
- Repairs to ceiling, walls and staircases that make the home inhabitable
- Heat repair to ensure safe heating during inclement weather
- Fixes to address electrical issues that pose a fire hazard
- Repairs to remove hazardous chemicals such as asbestos or radon
Residents with an income at or below 50% of the area median income qualify for this one-time grant of up to $3,500.
Hillsborough, County, residents seeking free home repair assistance can turn to the Affordable Housing Service Department for help. Regardless of the situation, AHS can provide the much needed financial relief needed for costly home repairs. The department has a variety of programs to help residents make repairs to ensure a safe and inhabitable home. Also, the program offers home improvement grants for senior citizens and the disabled to make home modifications that enable their independence in the home.