Housing Help for Veterans

Get veterans housing assistance, including VA loans for buying or improving your home. Find housing help for veterans who are older, homeless, or who have a disability.

VA Loans to Buy, Refinance, or Improve a Home

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers home loans and grants. These programs help service members, veterans, and surviving spouses buy, refinance, or modify their home. The VA guarantees part of the loan, meaning they will cover a portion of the loan if you default. This allows lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies, to offer you more favorable terms.

Learn if You’re Eligible and How to Apply for a VA Loan

VA Loans for Homebuying and Refinancing

VA Loans and Grants for Home Improvements

  • You can get a VA cash-out refinance loan to get money from your home’s equity. This can help you pay for home improvements, college costs, and more.

If you have a service-connected or age-related disability, you may be eligible for a veteran housing grant. These grants help you modify your home for disabilities related to military service or aging.

Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance

Veterans with certain service-connected or aging-related disabilities can get housing assistance. You may qualify for special housing grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

  • Apply for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. You can use it to build an adapted home or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to live more independently.
    • If you qualify for an SAH or SHA grant but are living temporarily in a family member’s home, you may be able to get a Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant. It can pay for necessary changes to your relative’s home.
  • You may be eligible for a Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant whether your disability is service-connected or not. This grant provides medically necessary improvements and structural changes to your primary residence.

Homeless Services and Resources

If you’re facing homelessness, these tips can help you prepare for and work through the situation.

If You’re About to Become Homeless

  • Make sure your state ID or driver’s license is current and available. Shelters and assistance programs may have strict ID requirements.
  • If possible, store your belongings. Shelters have limits on how much you may bring.
  • Arrange for your mail to be delivered somewhere or talk to your local post office. Many have special services for people who are homeless. You may be able to get a free P.O. box or receive general delivery service.
  • Pack a bag for yourself and each member of your family.
  • Keep important documents and needed medications with you.

Find Housing

  1. Check your state’s human or social services programs for shelter and housing. The types of facilities vary. Research the best options for:
  • Cost - Most shelters are free, but some may charge a small fee. Most facilities that provide residential drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs charge a fee. Many, however, are low cost, accept Medicaid, or operate on a sliding scale based on your income.
  • Length of stay - This can vary from a couple of weeks to several months.
  • Types of services - Some facilities just provide safe shelter for the night, while others are transitional. They provide both housing and support services. They may help you with substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, or job training.
  1. Apply for more permanent public or subsidized housing. Typically, there are long waiting lists for public and subsidized housing. Apply as soon as possible.

Homeless Resources for Special Groups

These resources are geared toward specific audiences:

Veterans

Youth

People with Mental Illness

Other Types of Help if You’re Homeless

Visit Benefits.gov to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for other types of help. This may include financial assistance, transportation, food, counseling, and more.

If you don’t have medical insurance, you can use HRSA health centers. They give checkups, treatment when you’re sick, pregnancy care, and immunizations for your children.

Housing Help for Older Veterans

Find programs to help older veterans with a wide range of housing needs. This includes in-home care, assisted living, and retirement homes for veterans.

  • Another option for some military retirees and other veterans is the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). The AFRH has two locations: Washington, DC, and Gulfport, MI. Both offer recreation and wellness services including assisted living and skilled care.
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Last Updated: April 10, 2019