Housing grants and programs from the VA

For veterans with certain service-connected or aging-related disabilities, housing help may be available from the VA. Just some of those opportunities include the Home Loan Guarantee, Specially Adaptive Housing grant, Special Home Adaptation grant, Home Improvements and Structural Alterations Grant (HISA), and the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Grant. Michael A. Iwanicki, superintendent of the McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission, gives a brief explanation of each:

1. Home Loan Guarantee

In existence since 1944, the VA’s Home Loan Guarantee was created to help service members, veterans, and eligible reservists qualify for a home loan. The federal government does not actually provide the loan but guarantees the loan. The veteran or service member must still meet the lenders loan requirements. The loan is intended for veterans to purchase, build, or rehab a home for which he/she intends to live. The benefit of the guarantee includes potentially lower interest rates, waiver of private mortgage insurance, and lower closing fees.

2. Adapted Housing grants

The Specially Adaptive Housing Grant (SAH) and the Special Home Adaptation Grant (SHA), both administered by the VA Benefits Administration, are offered to veterans who are receiving service connected disability benefits for illness or injury resulting in the loss of or loss of use of limbs, blindness, or severe burns.

Once approved the SAH grant can provide just over $100,000 to buy, build, or rehab a home the veteran plans to live in for a long time.

The SHA grant is provided to those with qualifying service connected disabilities (including some respiratory injuries) but caps out at just over $20,000.

Both require an application and the VBA must approve the designed adaptations. Qualifying veterans who do not own the home may still be eligible for the grants but if approved the eligible amount is much less.

3. Home Improvements and Structural Alterations grant

The HISA grant is available to patients of the VA hospitals who have a medical need for certain adaptations. The veteran’s VA doctor can help identify a need for accessibility modifications so the veterans can get in and out of the home, access the bathroom, modify electrical to accommodate certain medical equipment, or modify kitchen counters and sinks to allow better access.

4. Vocational Rehabilitation Employment Independent Living Program

The (VR&E IL) grant may be available to certain service connected veterans who are looking for services leading to employment or independent living (including housing modifications). The veterans must provide an application which the VA uses to determine if the service will assist the veteran with living more independently.

The Veterans Assistance Commission is available to assist veterans with applications or information regarding the various cs offered by the VA. To speak with a Veterans Service Officer, call our office at 815-334-4229. Services provided by the VAC are free of charge.

Veterans Assistance Commission : 667 Ware Road : Woodstock, IL 60098 : 815.334.4229