On the Grant Money Hunt

by WOHe

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many certified firms and renovators have questions about finding local grant money that can be used by their customers to assist in defraying the costs incurred with RRP compliance.  At ForRenovationPros.com we asked one of our contributing contractors, Scott Matson, to provide some insight into real-world grant hunting.  The following is his report on what he found in his backyard, and some tips on how you can uncover local resources:

Where do you start in searching for local grant money for RRP jobs?  I started with a basic Google search for lead paint grants in my state. 

After a few different key word choices, I stumbled upon a website for “Public Health Department” in a nearby county which included a link to “lead paint.” 

Here I found information about grant money up to $10,000 in “forgivable” loan assistance.  The website explained “The Lead Hazard Control Program provides lead hazard control opportunities to eligible property owners in Ozaukee County.  The program seeks to control lead based paint hazards in older homeowner and rental units occupied by income eligible families with children under six years of age.”

The information continued with program information.  To be eligible for up to $10,000 in forgivable loan assistance, the following criteria apply: 

  • Homeowner or rental property owners may qualify
  • Unit must be built prior to 1978
  • Children under the age of 6 must occupy the unit
  • Application fee is $100/unit

The eligible repairs are:

  • Lead paint abatement
  • Window replacements
  • Interior & exterior painting
  • Exterior trim work

Posted on this website it noted the owner’s income may not exceed 80% of the area median income adjusted by household size which is $39,850 for a single person, $56,900 for a family of 4, and $66,050 for a household of six.

There are slightly different requirements for rental property owners.

Additionally, applicants have to complete a packet of information along with a $100 application fee. This information includes 16 different documents including:

  • the copy of a 2009 signed federal tax return with all schedules
  • SSI and SSDI income verification for the current year
  • Child support income verification for the current year
  • Copy of Deed or other ownership document
  • Three recent paycheck stubs in sequential order
  • A copy of the most recent mortgage bill stating your current mortgage balance (account must be current)
  • Completed seven page application form

I did a little more digging and found these $10,000 grants were through the Community Development Block Grant Funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This program appears to date back to the early 2000s.  A quick key word search using “$10,000 lead paint” and “$10,000 Community Development Block Grant” for particular states and counties provided links to many other local resources in various states and counties.

Although the money is available, I was dismayed by the amount of paperwork that had to be submitted. I feel the $100 application fee is unreasonable.  If the applicant is falling into these income levels, I would think the $100 fee would be quite difficult to obtain.

Additionally, I found some local grant resource information at:

  1. HUD: Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Control
  2. HUD Recent Grant Awards (not available yet, but soon)

In short, there is grant money apparently out there, but it seems a bit difficult to obtain.



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