Housing Grants for Veterans
Housing grants for veterans come in a variety of options. They include HISA (Home Improvement and Structural Alterations,) SAH (Specially Adapted Housing, and SHA (Special Housing Adaptations) all of which are available to older or disabled veterans. Below, we explore all three of these options.
HISA Grants for Veterans
A HISA Grant is a type of grant that helps disabled veterans modify their home to help alleviate the challenges they face due to their disability.
What HISA Grants Cover
The repairs or modifications must be medically necessary and must help to improve mobility, access, and daily personal care such as bathing. A good example of what this type of grant covers include wheelchair ramps, so that access to the home is improved. Another example would be modifications to a bathroom so that bathing or toileting is safer. This might include adding handrails to a shower stall or replacing a toilet with one that is easier to get on an off while addressing falling and safety.
What HISA Grants Do Not Cover
What a HISA grant does not cover is repairs to homes that are not medically necessary. This type of grant will not pay for a new roof, but it might pay for widening doors so that a wheelchair or scooter can access the home.
If the disability is not military related, but the senior is a vet, then they still qualify for this type of grant, though the amount they qualify is often lower than grants for veterans who have a disability related to serving in the armed forces.
How to Qualify for a HISA Grant
To qualify, all you need is a prescription from a doctor at the VA. On the prescription must be the following two pieces of information:
- The diagnosis
- How the home modification improve the diagnosis or address a medical issue
Notes about HISA Grants
Even if the veteran is not the property owner, grants can still be issued if the property owner provides written documentation that is notarized. The benefit amount changes each year, but in past years, it has been as high as $6,800 for those with a disability related to their service and $2,000 for those veterans who are disabled, but whose disability is not related to their service.
Download the VA's Form 10-0103 – Application for Assistance
SAH Grant- Specially Adapted Housing
The focus of SAH Grants is adapted living and mobility. These grants are designed to help people with limited mobility safely enter and leave their home or to make the inside of their home safer and accessible. These grants can range to $77,307, but that amount changes annually and is a reflection of the index that covers the national cost of construction.
How Does a SAH Grant Differ from a HISA Grant?
There are two main differences. First, to qualify the disability must be service related and not the result of aging. There are specifics that we will discuss later. If the disability is not directly related to the veteran's service in the military, then the vet will not qualify for this type of grant. The second is that the dollar amount for this grant is much higher – $77,307 for the SAH grant in comparison to $6,800 for the HISA Grant.
What Does a SAH Grant Cover?
As mentioned the focus of SAH Grants is all about mobility and adaptation for those with limited mobility. As such, funds from a SAH Grant cover the cost of modifications to a home or residence or can be used to build a new home or residence that is wheelchair accessible. Funds from a SAH Grant also help to remodel the inside of a home to make it wheelchair accessible.
What Does a SAH Grant Not Cover?
The sole focus of this grant is to improve the mobility of veterans who have a specific set of disabilities. The grant will not cover anything that does not address mobility. While it will pay for structural changes such as widening door jams and adding wheelchair ramps, it will not pay for repairs or improvements such as roof repairs, making a home more energy efficient.
How to Apply for a SAH Grant
To qualify for a SAH Grant the veteran must have specific disabilities, such as the loss of a leg or the loss of use in one or both arms. Other medical considerations include specific types of burn injuries. While most of these disabilities are very specific and very obvious, they can also be progressive. If you are an older veteran who had a minor disability that has progressed as you have aged then you may qualify for this type of grant. An example would be a leg injury that left you with a limp but still able to walk. As you age, the limp becomes worse and eventually, you need a wheelchair to get around. It is at that point that you likely qualify for this type of grant. Most of these grants are given to those service men and women shortly after their injury.
Download the Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing ofr Special Home Adaptation Grant 2101(a)
Notes about SAH Grants
The SAH Grants and SHA Grants are similar and the application forms are the same. A SAH Grant is often called 2101(a) form; whereas, the SHA Grant is referred to as the 2101(b) grant.
SHA Grant- Special Home Adaptation
An SHA grant or Special Home Adaptation Grant focuses on keeping veterans independent. The grant is a sister-grant of the SAH grant system and focuses on providing assistance to veterans whose disability is service related. Whereas the SAH Grant focuses on mobility, the SHA Grants focus on independent living.
What an SHA Grant Covers
SHA Grants help improve a home so that it is livable if a veteran has a service-related disability that includes blindness in both eyes or the loss of both hands. Other medical disabilities also include some burn-related injuries and disabilities that affect the respiratory system.
The focus of these grants is to help these veterans remain independent in their homes. As such, they can be applied to a wide array of home improvements that help the veteran to adapt to their home.
What the SHA Grants Do Not Cover
The SHA Grants do not cover home improvements that are outside of adaptions for the specific disabilities covered by this grant. They will not pay for home improvements such as roof repair, etc.
How to Qualify for an SHA Grant
The disability must be service related and it must fit into a specific list of disabilities, such as total blindness or the loss of both hands. If a veteran qualifies for this type of grant, they can receive up to $15,462 in grant money for their home or $6,059 if they live with a family member.
Download the application for Form 2101(a) and 2101(b) here.
Notes about SHA Grants
The SHA Grants are applicable for existing home adaptations, for adaptations to a family member's home where the vet will live or for the purchase a new home so that it is modified to offset the disabilities of the veteran.
Read more about the SHA Grant and the list of qualifying disabilities here.