Repairing and Improving a Home

Look for help with repairing or making improvements to your home.

Help with Home Repairs and Modifications

Want to add an addition onto your home? Renovate your bathroom or basement? Learn about programs to help pay for your home improvements, as well as tips on hiring a contractor to do the work. 

Find Loans and Other Incentives

The most common type of financial help from the government for home repairs or modifications is through home improvement loan programs backed by the government. The loans are through traditional lenders, like banks, but the programs help these lenders make loans that they might normally not fulfill. Some programs are available on a nationwide basis, while others are only on a state or county level. To learn about the options available to you, contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office.

You can also contact your local, state, or county government housing department.

Find out about loans and other incentives for energy efficient modifications in your state.

Assistance for Certain Demographic Groups

Learn about housing programs for the following groups:

Modifying and Repairing Your Home

Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements on your home is important. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides resources and tips on hiring a contractor, questions to ask, and how to report problems. 

Before digging on your property, call 811 to be sure you won't damage or be injured by underground utility lines. Some states allow for an online digging request. Timing is different from state to state with some needing two business days in advance and others need as many as 12 working days even if it is just a small project like planting trees or shrubs.

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Get Help with Your Home Energy Bill

Help for Low-Income Households

If you need help paying for your home energy costs, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help with

  • Paying for part of your heating or cooling bills
  • Paying for some weatherization or low-cost home repairs that may lower your monthly energy bills
  • Energy crisis assistance for immediate help

Eligibility and Where to Apply

Each local LIHEAP agency sets up its own eligibility requirements.

Contact your local LIHEAP agency:

LIHEAP does not pay for water or sewer bills. Learn more by reviewing LIHEAP’s list of frequently asked questions.

For additional help applying for LIHEAP benefits, call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR), a free service, at 1-866-674-6327 (TTY: 1-866-367-6228) or email

Other Options For Help with Gas, Oil, or Electric Bills

If your income is too high to qualify for LIHEAP but you need help with energy bills:

  • Reach out to your local social services agency or non-profits organizations, which may have funds available through grants.
  • Contact your gas, oil, or electric company about financial programs or new payment options.

Learn about the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to help make repairs and save on your energy bills.

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Home Equity Loans

A home equity loan is a form of credit where your home is used as collateral to borrow money. It's typically used to pay for major expenses (education, medical bills, and home repairs). However, if you cannot pay back the loan, the lender could foreclose on your home. 

Types of Home Equity Loans

There are two types of home equity loans:

  • Lump sum - This is a one-time, closed-end loan that usually has a fixed interest rate.
  • Revolving line of credit - You can withdraw the funds at any time for more flexibility. These usually have adjustable interest rates.

For more information, refer to What You Should Know About Home Equity Lines of Credit, a guide by the Federal Reserve Board. 

Talk to a Qualified Credit Counselor

You should consider carefully before taking out a home equity loan. If you are unable to make payments on time, you could end up losing your home. Before taking out a home equity loan, you should explore alternatives with a credit counselor that do not potentially put your home at the risk of a forced sale. 

File a Complaint

If you have a problem with a home equity loan, you should contact the lender first. If you cannot resolve the issue with the lender, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). 

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Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides low-income households with free weatherization services, such as improvements for heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, and electricity consuming appliances. This can help families stay healthier and save hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling costs each year.

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Last Updated: August 09, 2017

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