To get some assistance on top of a VA loan; or if a VA loan is simply not enough, the US Department of Veterans Affairs does offer two types of housing grants for qualifying service members. These grants are known as the Specially Adapted Housing grant (SAH), and the Special Housing Adaption grant (SHA).
1. The SAH can be defined as a 100% grant fund that allocates funding to eligible veterans with service related disabilities. The grant in 2013 was designed to aid in providing them with $64,960 to acquire independent and barrier free living. In 2014, this grant will help provide $67,555. There are four scenarios in which this can be used which are to:
- Help in the construction of adaptive housing on land that was bought
- Assist in building adaptive housing on land previously owned
- Remodel and provide necessary accommodations to existing properties
- Go towards an existing mortgage balance on a home not acquired by a SAH grant
2. The SHA grant is another 100% grant fund that provides eligible veterans with further assistance on make a property an actual home. This one is a little different and helped veterans in 2013 to gain $12,992 to help themselves or a family member. In 2014 it will help provide 13,511. Its functions are to:
- Assist in remodeling a home that a veteran or a family member already lives in
- Aid in adapting a home that a veteran or family member intends to live in as a primary residence
- Help a veteran purchase a reconstructed home to live in.
Some good news that several veterans reading this post might like to know is that the maximum amount listed above can be used a maximum of 3 times by eligible veterans. A drawback that many might find themselves enduring is the requirement that all eligible disabilities must be 100% permanent and service related. Examples of such injures are:
- Loss of/loss of use of both arms or legs
- Loss of/loss of use of one arm or leg
- Loss of/loss of use of one lower leg with remains of organic disease or injury
- Blindness in Both eyes or loss of light perception
- Specific Severe burns
- Specific severe respiratory injures
Special cases for the veterans who received injuries on or after the September 11, 2001 attacks include:
- Loss of/loss of use of one or more extremities so that balance and/or propulsion are affected to the extent that the Veteran cannot walk without the use of braces, canes, crutches or a wheelchair.
To apply for these grants, a VA form 26-4555 can be used, or online applications from this link can be downloaded and mailed/ hand delivered to your nearest regional VA home loan center. Nearest centers can be found at this VA link.
Claim forms can also be obtained by calling 1-800-827-1000, and if you still have any specific questions then you can contact a SAH staff member via email at [email protected] or by phone at (877) 827-3702.
More information about the VA such as how to acquire loans can be found at their website. http://www.benefits.va.gov/