How to Find Local and State Grants

Government funding is available for low-income residents and first-time homebuyers.

While there are federal programs, local and state grants are often more assessable and available, as there are typically fewer applicants trying to obtain them. 

State and local grants can be specific to certain demographics. Specifically, organizations give members funding through charity and crowdsourcing events.

Community-based groups strive to give back to locals for multiple reasons, including strengthening the area’s economy and increasing the prosperity of those who live there.

How Local Grants Differ From Loans

Grants are basically money. Unlike loans, federal and state grants do not need to be repaid. There is no interest accumulating and typically no fees.

Loans will need to be paid back to the lender. Interest rates and fees are connected to these funds.

However, certain loans will need to be repaid if they are not used as instructed.

For instance, if local first time home buyer grants are used to pay student loans, then the housing assistance can be transferred into a loan. Therefore, any grants accepted must be utilized for their intended purpose. 

How to Find State Grants for Homeownership Assistance Online

The easiest way to find funding for housing is by doing an online search. Many state grants offer residents information on official websites, including details about eligibility and how to apply.

Even federal sites provide citizens ways to research grants in their state. From Massachusetts to California state grants, prospective buyers can locate available housing funds. 

Government sites have thousands of available grant and loan options that residents search through.

Additionally, government websites are usually a better choice than commercial or third-party affiliates, as official federal and state sites will not charge users to search for grants.

Using government sites also reduces the chances of interested parties being scammed. 

For instance, information on New York state grants from the HOME program is available on the state website. Residents can look up eligibility details, such as area and income requirements as well as procure needed forms and documents.

In addition to New York state grants, residents can find helpful mortgage options that make homeownership possible

Some federal government sites where residents can find both state housing grant and loan information include the following:

  • Grants.gov
  • USA.gov
  • Benefits.gov
  • USDA.gov

The ability to filter through these state grants by keywords, eligibility, category and agency is especially beneficial for those looking for specific grants.

When filtering through options, it is best to use the drop-down menus before using keywords, as search results may be affected by typos. 

There are many California state grants since it is one of the largest and most welfare-focused states in the country.

California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) provides residents with numerous housing grants. 

Other state housing programs are listed below:

  • Housing California
  • Idaho Building Network
  • Maine Together
  • Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey
  • Utah Housing Coalition 

How to Find Local Grants in Person

Some of the best grants prospective homeowners can obtain are those in their local communities. Specific organizations have missions to help residents with local first time home buyer grants and home renovations funds.

Other groups provide locals or members with general funding that can be used towards purchasing a home. 

As a result of being available only to the local community, these organizations often do not have websites. Instead, they rely on word of mouth or print advertising.

Some types of organizations future homeowners can seek funding from include the following:

  • Churches and other places of worship 
  • Nonprofits
  • Housing alliances
  • Special-interest groups
  • Businesses

Many businesses offer local grants to residents in the community. While this provides positive promotion for the company, it also helps the families of the area. 

Some local grants are city- or town-based. This means that only residents of those cities or towns are eligible for funding.

The availability of these grants ranges drastically with the more funding being in major metropolitan areas.

Crowdsourcing is also an option for families who need housing assistance. Needy parents can ask charities and religious organizations to set up events to help raise funds.

While these are not official grants, the money can be used in the same way without the hassle meeting eligibility requirements and filing applications. 

Learn About Local Grants for Specific Groups

Some state and local grants are intended for certain specialty groups. These individuals meet specific eligibility requirements based on age, ethnicity, income, religion, profession and more. 

For instance, some of the most prevalent first time home buyer grants are those involved in tribal groups. These groups typically must be federally recognized, but funding may be available within a group for members only.

In some cases, applicants must meet additional income requirements as well as be part of the tribal community. To locate these tribal grants, interested parties can contact the state or the leader in their community.

The Housing Improvement Program (HIP) is available for Alaska Natives and members of American Indian tribes that are federally recognized.

Applicants must live in specific service areas and not earn an income more than a certain amount. 

Likewise, many local grants are available for service members and veterans. Current and former military men and women can request information from local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) offices. 

An often-overlooked group is those in rural areas. Local farmers are often given state grants in order to maintain produce or meat needed locally or as part of the area’s economy.

For instance, farmers may be able to apply for a housing grant for needed renovations, or prospective farmers may be able to receive funding to establish a farm and home. 

Learn About State Grants for Group Housing

Groups that wish to set up housing for certain groups may be able to apply and receive funding.

Local grants are available for those who wish to help the community by creating housing for locals who are:

  • Homeless.
  • Disabled.
  • Runaway youths.

For instance, Home Depot provides housing grants for nonprofit organizations that want to create or renovate homes for veterans.

While these local grants are not available for individuals or organization for single housing projects, they are available to multifamily units.