For homeowners in Minnesota, there are several grants available for remodeling, repair and rehabilitation projects. This article explores the main remodel and building grants in MN and how to obtain one for yourself.
What is a Home Remodel Grant?
Home remodel and building grants in Minnesota are government-assisted programs that can help you save money on home repairs and improvements.
There are several grants available to homeowners in Minnesota, the most common type being home repair or modification programs that are backed by local, state and federal government entities. Some of these grants may be available only to Minnesota homeowners or specific locales within the state, while others are available nationwide.
Eligibility requirements differ from grant to grant. However, it will most likely come down to how much your income is, your age, the type of property you own and where that property is located.
To find out more about grants in your area, contact the federal, state, or county government agency that administers these types of programs. In Minnesota, one of the main government agencies providing grants is the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA).
Now that you have a little background on home remodeling grants, let’s explore the specific grants you may be eligible for in Minnesota.
Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grant
The Rural Repair and Rehabilitation grant, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair Program provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes. In addition, grants are provided to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.
This grant/loan program, run by the USDA helps people stay in their own home and keep it in good shape. Homeownership helps families and individuals build savings over time, while strengthening communities and supporting the area’s economy.
To qualify for the Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grant, you must:
- Be the homeowner and occupy the house
- Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
- Have a family income below 50 percent of the area median income
- For grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan
- Applicants must live in a specific area, which can be checked here
How may funds be used?
- Loans may be used to repair, improve or modernize homes or remove health and safety hazards
- Grants must be used to remove health and safety hazards
|Loan amount available||Grant amount available||Grant/Loan combination amount available|
What are the terms of the loan or grant?
- Loans can be repaid over 20 years
- Loan interest rate is fixed at 1%
- Full title service is required for loans of $7,500 or more
- Grants have a lifetime limit of $7,500
- Grants must be repaid if the property is sold in less than 3 years
- If applicants can repay part, but not all of the costs, applicants may be offered a loan and grant combination
How do I Obtain a Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grant?
To obtain this grant in Minnesota, contact your local rural development office and have the following documentation ready:
- Form RD 410-4, Uniform Residential Loan Application
- Form RD 3550-1, Request for Information
- Form RD 3550-4, Employment and Asset Certification
- All application items listed in Attachment 12-E checklist
Application approval times will depend on funding availability in your area of residence. Contact a USDA home loan specialist in your area
Fix Up Program
Minnesota Housing offers homeowners in Minnesota the opportunity to apply for a Fix Up grant, made possible by U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
This program offers affordable, fixed interest rates with lower interest rate for energy conservation and accessibility improvements, with a higher loan-to-value ratio on secured loans than traditional products and longer repayment terms with lower payment amounts.
To qualify for the Fix Up Program, you must:
- Own and occupy the property to be improved
- Own a single family home, duplex, triplex or fourplex
|Secured||$50,000||10 to 20 years||$104,000|
|$15,000||10 to 20 years||No income Limit|
|$15,000||10 years||No Income Limit|
The following areas of a residence can be repaired, remodeled or improved with energy saving updates:
- Remodel a bathroom or kitchen
- Porches and decks
- Add a bathroom or finish the basement
- Furnace or boiler and air conditioning
- Windows and doors
- Insulation/attic air sealing
- Water heater
- Siding and roofing
- Septic system upgrades
- Mold and radon mitigation
- Accessibility improvements
- Basic garage, if none exists
- Choose Energy Star windows, furnace, air conditioner and/or water heater; insulation and air sealing; and/or basic accessibility improvements and you may be eligible for a lower interest rate.
How to Obtain a Fix Up Grant in Minnesota
To obtain a Fix Up grant in Minnesota, first, find a participating lender near you. Next, request contractor bids or detailed materials estimate from a building supplier for work you will perform to understand the amount of money you’ll need. You’ll partner with the lender to complete the loan application, closing and funding
Rehabilitation Loan/Emergency and Accessibility Loan Program
The Rehabilitation Loan/Emergency and Accessibility Loan Programs assist low-income homeowners in financing basic home improvements that directly affect the safety, habitability, energy efficiency or accessibility of their homes. This program is available for home improvements addressing emergency conditions of the home or accessibility needs for a disabled household resident, subject to prior approval by Minnesota Housing.
To be eligible, you must:
- Meet program income limits
- Not have assets exceeding $25,000
- Own and occupy the property to be rehabilitated
- Be current on property taxes and mortgages
- Have homeowner insurance in effect at time of loan closing
- Various property types are eligible including, but not limited to, single family homes, duplexes, a condominium unit, and manufactured housing taxed as real or personal property
|$27,000||5 years for properties taxed as real property and 10 years for mobile/manufactured homes taxed as personal property located in a mobile home park|
Note: loans are forgiven if you do not sell, transfer title, or cease to occupy the property during the loan term.
The following areas of a residence can be repaired, remodeled or improved:
- Basic improvements that directly affect the safety, livability, or energy efficiency of the home
- Addressing lead paint hazards
- Electrical wiring
- Furnace/boiler repair or replacement
- Plumbing repairs
- Well and septic repair or replacement
- Radon mitigation
- Mold remediation
- Roof repair or replacement
VA Home Loans – Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides grants to service members and veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to help purchase or construct an adapted home, or modify an existing home to accommodate a disability. Three grant programs exist for veterans: the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant, the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant and the Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant.
SAH grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment. SAH grants can be used in one of the following ways:
- Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
- Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
- Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing
- Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant
- View and share VA’s SHA infographic to help spread the word
SHA grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a home to accommodate the disability. You can use SHA grants in one of the following ways:
- Adapt an existing home the Veteran or a family member already owns in which the Veteran lives
- Adapt a home the Veteran or family member intends to purchase in which the Veteran will live
- Help a Veteran purchase a home already adapted in which the Veteran will live
A temporary grant may be available to SAH/SHA eligible Veterans and Servicemembers who are or will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member.
- The TRA grant will not be deducted from the total grant funds available to a Veteran or Servicemember
- The TRA grant will be deducted from one of the three usages available to the Veteran or Servicemember
- The maximum amount available to update a family member’s home for the SAH grant is $35,593 and for the SHA grant is $6,355
If you are a Service member or Veteran with a permanent and total service-connected disability, you may be entitled to a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. The table below provides an overview of VA’s housing grant programs for Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities.
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
|Eligibility||Living Situation||Ownership||Number of Grants You Can Use|
|-Loss of or loss of use of both legs, OR|
-Loss of or loss of use of both arms, OR
-Blindness in both eyes having only light perception, plus loss of or loss of use of one leg, OR
-The loss of or loss of use of one lower leg together with residuals of organic disease or injury, OR
-The loss of or loss of use of one leg together with the loss of or loss of use of one arm, OR
-Certain severe burns, OR
-The loss, or loss of use of one or more lower extremities due to service on or after September 11, 2001, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair *
|Permanent||Home is owned by an eligible individual||Maximum of 3 grants, up to the maximum dollar amount allowable|
Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant
|Eligibility||Living Situation||Ownership||Number of Grants You Can Use|
|-Blindness in both eyes with 20/200 visual acuity or less, OR|
-Loss of or loss of use of both hands, OR
-Certain severe burn injuries, OR
-Certain severe respiratory injuries
|Permanent||Home is owned by an eligible individual or family member||Maximum of 3 grants, up to the maximum dollar amount allowable|
How to Obtain a VA Home Grant
VA loans are obtained through a lender of your choice once you obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can obtain a COE through eBenefits, by mail, and often through a private lender.
Home Energy Loan Program
The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) offers low-interest home energy loans for Minnesota homeowners to make energy improvements in their homes. Thanks to local partnerships, the CEE has implemented special programs and incentives for several Minnesota cities and neighborhoods.
4.99% fixed interest rate (5.019 APR*)
- Terms up to 120 months
- Loan amounts from $1,000 – $20,000 loan maximum (windows are eligible)
- No maximum income limit
- This loan is secured by a mortgage on your property
- Closing costs apply
- Owner occupied, primary residence
- 1-4 units
- Properties under construction or held in trust are not eligible
Eligible improvements include the energy improvements listed below. Homeowners with questions about project(s) eligibility should contact CEE.
|Heating Systems||Natural gas or propane furnace AFUE >= 95
Oil furnace, gas, propane or oil hot water boiler AFUE>= 90
|Central A/C||Split systems: SEER >=16 - EER >= 13
Package systems: SEER.= 14 - EER >= 12
|Light Fixtures||Fixtures must meet Energy Star requirements|
|Window Replacement||Windows must be Energy Star qualified under Federal guidelines.|
|Exterior Doors||Exterior Doors must have a U-factor and SHGC of 0.30 or less.|
|Attic Air Sealing||Testing the air tightness of a home using a calibrated door will measure the quantity of air leakage and air sealing effectiveness. Attic air sealing is a prerequisite for wall/attic insulation loan eligibility.|
|Attic Insulation||Attic insulation must be combined with attic air sealing for loan eligibility. Final R-Value >= R-44|
|Wall Insulation||All external wall cavities must be filled with insulation. Loan eligibility is conditional on attic air sealing being performed.|
|Water Heater||Energy Star rated|
|Geothermal & Heat Pumps||Ground source heat pumps that meet or exceed Energy Star 1 efficiency requirements; heat pump water heaters and air source heat pumps that are Energy Star qualified.|
How to Obtain a Home Energy Loan
To obtain a Home Energy Loan, call (612) 335-5884 and speak with a representative to begin the application process.
Have more questions about home remodel and building grants in Minnesota?
Contact Treasured Spaces today, the state’s premier remodeling contractor. We’ll help you navigate the complex process of securing a grant for your upcoming project. Get in touch with us today to see how we can improve your home.