All About VA Disability Housing Grants

All About VA Disability Housing Grants

A veteran housing grant helps with your housing needs. There are several categories of housing grants available, each focusing on different categories. While many of the grants help veterans find a place to live, there are also specialized grants intended for veterans who already own a home. For many veterans, one of the most challenging aspects is returning home after getting injured. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to make major changes around your home.

Grants for disabled veterans focus on making repairs and changes around your home to become more accommodating. While most of these disability grants are only available if you own your home, there are some options available if you rent or have temporary housing. How much you qualify for largely depends on your disability. To apply for any VA disability housing grants, you must apply through the VA Regional Loan Center. More information about applying and using VA disability housing grants is listed below.

VA Special Adaptive Housing Grant (SAH)

VA adaptive housing provides veterans and service members with financial assistance to make changes to their home that accommodates their disability. For example, you can apply for an SAH grant to add a wheelchair ramp to your home or install a lift device into your stairs. There are several types of disabilities that make you eligible for an adaptive housing grant.

You are eligible for a VA SAH grant if you have limited mobility, requiring either braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair to navigate. You also qualify if you have blindness in both eyes. For the purpose of the VA SAH grant process, you must have 20/200 visual acuity or less in your dominant eye, even with the use of corrective lenses to qualify as blind. Severe burn injuries, and the loss of one or both arms also qualifies you for assistance. The last eligibility requirement is you developed an organic disease or injury during your service that causes respiratory or breathing issues.

In order to use a VA adaptive housing grant, you must own or be in the process of owning your home. As of writing, the maximum amount you can borrow from a grant is $101,754. Each fiscal year, which starts on October 1st and runs until September 30th, only 120 applicants can receive a grant based on the loss of extremity. If you qualify, you are put on a waiting list and will receive your funding in the next available fiscal year.

VA Special Housing Adaptation Grant (SHA)

While the two programs share an almost identical name, the VA SHA grant is not the same as the SAH. The SHA program is open to veterans who do not currently own a home, but are planning to buy, build or make changes to an existing property to facilitate their disability. The SHA grant uses the same disability eligibility requirements as the SAH grant.

How much you receive from a VA adaptive housing grant varies each year based on the VA funding. As of writing, the maximum available is $20,115. You are only able to apply for a VA SHA grant six times. When you apply for a grant, you do not have to request the maximum amount each time. If the maximum increases in following years, you may apply for additional assistance. If you are approved for a grant and the cost of the project increases, you are allowed to request additional funding from the grant without having to go through the reapplication process or using one of your six requests.

VA Temporary Residence Adaptation Grant (TRA)

Another part of the VA adaptive housing program is the TRA. The TRA uses the same eligibility requirements as SAH and SHA grants. However, the grant must be used at a family member’s home where you temporarily reside. How much you borrow from the TRA depends on whether you own your own home or plan to get your own property in the future. If you own your own home, you are eligible for up to $40,983 from the TRA. If you do not own a home, you are limited to $7,318.

VA Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant (HISA)

Another veteran housing grant is HISA. HISA is compatible with VA SAH and SHA grants. The grant offers funding to make changes to your property, whether or not you own it. Unlike other housing grants for disabled veterans, HISA provides funding for both service and non-service-connected injuries. However, you receive different amounts depending on the injury. For service injuries, you are eligible for up to $6,800, while non-service injuries are only $2,000. While the HISA does not offer as much funding as either the SAH or SHA grants, there are no requirements on how often you apply. Because of this, you are encouraged to use the HISA grant funding before applying for one of the other grants.

Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Housing Adaptation Assistance

The final type of VA special adaptive housing grant is VR&E. VR&E has the strictest requirements of all the housing grants. There are only two conditions where you can apply. The first is if you are unable to work because of your service-related disability. You can also apply for the VR&E grant if you plan to start your own business, but need to make changes to your property so you are able to safely work. While the grant is primarily used to improve your house, you can also apply to modify an existing building in the community.

This type of veteran housing grant offers up to $92,569. Unlike the other types of housing grants, you must submit a rehabilitation plan and explain why you need the funding and how you intend to use it. How much you receive after your application varies depending on what the VA approves. While this grant can be combined with other projects, whether you received funding from another disability housing grant may affect the total amount you receive from the VR&E housing grant. Along with financial funding, the program also helps you find support resources and counseling.