How Disabled Vets Can Qualify for the Granting Freedom Program

Earlier this month, the VHDA launched the Down Payment Assistance Grant Program which gives qualifying buyers grant money for their home down payment. But, that’s only the tip of the iceberg as far as VHDA benefits for Virginia residents.The VHDA offers more educational resources, loan products and other grants that put the dream of owning a suitable home within reach for first-time buyers, low-income families and veterans. (Several of the loan products we offer right here at Atlantic Coast Mortgage.)

One grant vets should know about specifically is the Granting Freedom: Virginia’s Military Home Modification Grant Program. This program is in partnership with the Virginia Department of Veteran Services and gives money to disabled vets who need to make modifications to their home for accessibility reasons.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, almost 800,000 vets live in Virginia alone. If you are a veteran living in Virginia and have experienced a line-of-duty, service-related disability, this grant could potentially make your home fully functional. Over $1 million in grant money is available. Here’s what you need to know about the program:


The Type of Modifications Covered By the Grant

An average home or apartment isn’t designed to accommodate a homeowner with physical limitations. That’ll make simple tasks like using the restroom, taking a shower or cooking meals challenging. This grant will accommodate small improvements to rooms that’ll make your life easier. For example, you can widen your doorways for a wheelchair, install grab bars in showers, heighten toilets or lower countertops. Basically, any changes to the existing structure of your home or apartment that’ll make it less cumbersome for you to maneuver around.


The Granting Freedom Program Requirements

The grant maximum is $4,000. If you’re awarded funds, they’ll be paid directly to the contractor who completes the work on your home. To qualify, your home or apartment must be in Virginia. You need a certified letter from a VA attending physician, VA physical therapist or VA hospital rehabilitation officer to prove that you are, in fact, disabled due to service. The program also requires you to take before and after photos of the modifications and get a final inspection by a VHDA-approved inspector. Grants are available on a first come, first serve basis, so if you wait around to apply you could miss out on the opportunity. When you’re found eligible for the program, you must use the grant money within four months.

If you can’t use the funds before the four month deadline, extensions are offered on a limited basis. The application process is pretty simple. You fill out an application form and email it to the Program Administrator at vhdagrants@vhda.com.


Are You a Vet Looking for a Home to Buy and Modify?

VA loans come with low, fixed rates if you’re on the hunt for a home to buy before applying for the Granting Freedom Program. Some veterans may even qualify for no down payment at all. 

Last but certainly not least, thank you for your service!

 

Interested in learning more about your mortgage options or prequalifying for a home loan?