Whether you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments or faced with an unexpected repair expense in California, there is help available to you!
While researching low income home buyer programs in California, we stumbled across several helpful programs for those who already own their own homes.
Always check with these agencies!
Rebuilding Together provides home repair services and disability modifications for homeowners around California. Their agency operates through a series of local affiliates, so contact yours to see what services may be available to you.
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Get help with repair expenses from these counties and cities!
Alameda County Community Development Agency serves homeowners in the cities of Oakland, Urban City and the Urban County. The Urban County encompasses Albany, Dublin, Emeryville, Newark, Piedmont. The CDA also serves the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, Castro Valley, Hilcrest Knolls, Fairview, San Lorenzo, and Sunol.
Minor home repair grants are available to residents throughout the service area. These funds can be used for minor plumbing, carpentry or electrical repairs. They can also be used for some minor disability modifications. Exterior paint grants are awarded throughout the service area also.
Accessibility Improvement Grants are also available throughout the service area and can be used to install ramps, handrails, doorways, bath and kitchen accesses, specialized baths or to make counter height modifications.
Mobile home home repair grants are not available in Oakland. However, residents of other areas can apply for this grant to help fix roofing, heating, cooling, plumbing and other systems with this program. These funds can also be used to replace built-in appliances.
Low interest rehabilitation loans of up to $60,000 for major repairs are available in the Urban County, the unincorporated areas of the county and Fremont. These loans do not have to be repaid until the home is sold, refinanced or transferred.
Alhambra offers special home improvement assistance loans for low income homeowners who need help with repairs. They have a minor repair program for those who need $50,000 or less in improvements and a major repair program for those who need more than $50,000 in repairs.
Anaheim offers a home rehabilitation program for low income homeowners. However, their website does not elaborate on what this program involves, how much funding is available or who qualifies.
Apple Valley has a Residential Rehabilitation Loan Program (RRLP) that provides up to $25,000 for repair work to low income single family homes. The funds are provided as a deferred loan that does not require a payment for up to 30 years or until you sell, transfer or cease to occupy the home. You can also get energy efficiency upgrades from the Community Action Partnership of San Bernadino.
Bellflower has several options for homeowners who need to make repairs to their primary residences. They offer the following programs:
Fix It Grants of up to $10,000 are available for seniors (age 62+) or handicapped residents. These home repair grants can be used for exterior and interior repairs. Interior repairs must address health and safety violations.
Essential Home Repair Program loans provide up to $15,000 to perform important home repairs. The deferred loan does not have to be repaid until the sale or transfer of the home. The interest accrues at 3 percent per year. However, both the principal and interest are forgiven after 15 years as long as you still live in the home!
Low Interest Deferred Loans of up to $60,000 can be acquired for home repairs, improvements and accessibility modifications. These loans accrue a simple interest rate of 4 percent. All payments are deferred until the loan is sold or the title is transferred. At that point, the loan must be repaid in full.
Berkeley offers interest-free loans of up to $100,000 to help seniors and disabled homeowners with repairs and home modifications. The loan does not have to be repaid until the home is sold, transferred, the eligible homeowner moves or the loan matures. To qualify, applicants must be at least 62 years old or permanently disabled.
Buena Park provides loans of up to $60,000 to assist with home improvements, energy efficiency upgrades or repairs. The interest rate is zero for seniors and 3 percent for non-seniors. Repayment is deferred until the sale or transfer of the property.
Chico assists with essential repairs, home additions, and pest control through its Housing Rehabilitation Program. This program can assist with roofing, foundations, plumbing, windows, siding, doors, electrical, insulation, painting, flooring, and more. Everything paid for must be necessary to bring the home up to health and safety standards. You can’t expand a family room, build a garage or install landscaping with these funds.
Clovis offers a grant of up to $4,500 to assist with necessary repairs. Even mobile home owners are eligible! You can download the application here or pick up an application at the City of Clovis Planning and Development Services Department.
Compton provides a home improvement loan program also. However, at the time of this writing (March 2018), their funds for this fiscal year have been exhausted and details of the program are not available on the website. Be sure to check with the city close to the beginning of the next fiscal year if you are interested in this program!
Concord offers several home repair grant and loan programs for residents who live within Concord city limits. In an emergency, homeowners can receive up to $10,000 in home repair grants for emergency repairs and disability modifications. Seniors can receive up to $2,000 in grants for weatherization and home security services. Single family home repair loans can be awarded for up to $55,000!
Downey provides up to $15,000 in home repair grants toward home improvements. These funds can only be used for correction of code violations, accessibility modifications, exterior painting and to fix health/safety hazards within the home. Homeowners who use this program must make mandatory improvements, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation, security locks on all doors and windows, attic insulation and lead-based paint removal. If lead-based paint is found, an additional grant of up to $2,000 may be awarded.
El Cajon has a home improvement program that can provide up to $50,000 for single family homes and up to $20,000 for mobile homes. Each loan is deferred until the property is sold, rented, refinanced, transferred or abandoned. You must have owned the home for at least a year to qualify.
Escondido has a HOME Program that may be able to assist with home repairs. You will need to contact the city for additional information.
Fountain Valley hosts several housing rehabilitation programs for low income homeowners. Eligible homeowners can participate in the following programs:
Single Family Home Grant program can provide disability accommodations, interior and exterior painting, plumbing, stucco repair and other services to low income homeowners. Eligible homeowners may receive up to $9,500 in home repair grants. This is a one-time assistance program and cannot be reused.
Single Family Home Rebate Program offers up to $7,500 as a reimbursement for housing repair and improvement expenses. The rebate cannot exceed 50 percent of the total cost of improvements. This program can be reused once every seven years.
Single Family Home Loan Program provides up to $25,000 with varying loan terms to complete repairs. The repayment terms depend on the household’s ability to repay. Low income households may qualify for deferred payments.
Mobile Home Grant Program provides up to $7,000 for eligible mobile home repairs. If roof replacement is necessary, the program will provide up to $9,500. The Mobile Home Rebate Program provides up to $5,000 in reimbursements for rehabilitation costs.
Fremont is served by the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department. In addition to the programs listed under “Alameda County” above, Fremont residents may also qualify for an Invasive Tree Removal program that removes trees on private property that are causing structural or functional problems like sidewalk, walkway or foundation damage.
Fresno County provides a Housing Assistance Rehabilitation Program (HARP) program for low income homeowners. The program is designed to help low income homeowners bring their homes up to code with zero interest loans.
Fullerton has deferred loans and forgivable loans for low income households. The forgivable loans do not have to be repaid if you live in the home for three years.
Residential Deferred Loans provide up to $65,000 toward repairs that ensure decent, safe and sanitary living conditions. There are no monthly payments or interest for 15 years. After 15 years, you can apply for another 15 year extension. There is no limit to how many extensions you may receive.
Mobile Home Loans provide up to $20,000 toward improvements that ensure decent, safe and sanitary conditions. The deferment terms are essentially the same as the Residential Deferred Loans, above.
There are several forgivable loan (grant) programs that are forgiven after just three years of home ownership.
- The Residential Roof Grant provides up to $15,000 to replace deteriorated roofing.
- The Residential Paint Grant provides up to $6,500 for exterior paint.
- The Residential Code Items Grant provides up to $5,000 to correct building code violations or to address health and safety violations.
- The Residential Handicap Modifications Grant provides up to $6,000 for home improvements for disabled homeowners (such as ramps, grab bars, ADA complaint toilets, etc).
- The Mobile Home Grant provides up to $10,000 for handicap modifications, building code violation correction and other items.
Garden Grove provides Home Improvement Grants of up to $5,000 for seniors ages 62 and older. City code violations and substandard building conditions receive priority funding. Priority repairs include roof leaks, old window replacement, termite treatments, exterior painting and replacing old exterior doors (including garage doors). Necessary plumbing and heating repairs, door locks and wheelchair ramp installs also receive priority treatment.
Hayward provides earthquake retrofit grants up to $3,000. These grants are specifically designed to help improve your home in specific ways that will help it withstand future seismic activity.
Huntington Beach will lend up to $75,000 toward your rehabilitation costs for a single family home, condo or townhouse. If you area low income family and only need $10,000 or less, you can receive the funding in a grant.
Huntington Park has three programs for existing homeowners who need to make home improvements. These include the lead hazard control program, the minor home repair program and the residential rehabilitation program. You could receive up to $50,000 from this program – and up to $25,000 of it can be completely forgiven!
La Habra provides funding for improvements such as water heater replacement, termite fumigation and other necessary repairs. For eligibility criteria, please click here.
Lakewood offers zero interest deferred payment loans of up to $18,000 for home improvement and repair. You can also receive a Fix Up, Paint Up Grant of up to $3,000. These grant funds can only be used for exterior painting and minor window, door and stucco repair.
Lompoc offers a minor and major rehabilitation loan program. The minor loan program offers up to $5,000 per housing unit for emergency repairs such as water heater replacement, roofing, fencing, flooring and other needs. The loan carries a 3 percent fixed interest rate but has no monthly payments required. There is no credit check, either. The website does not offer much information on the standard rehabilitation loan program.
Long Beach offers low cost loans of up to $57,000 for owners of single family homes. These loans have a fixed interest rate of 0 percent. That’s right, zero!
Los Angeles offers a Handywork Program that provides free home repairs for low income elderly (age 62+) or disabled homeowners. The program provides minor repairs. The city also offers emergency repairs to other low income homeowners.
Los Angeles County is served by Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County. This agency can assist with major bathroom and kitchen upgrades, painting, electrical repairs and other things.
The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles can also assist people through the Handyworker Program. This program provides up to $5,000 for low income seniors and disabled residents. They also have funding for veteran home repairs.
Madera County offers a weatherization program for low income homeowners. This program is administered by the Community Action Partnership in Madera. To apply, you must contact them at (559) 673-9173.
Merced has a weatherization and minor home repair program for eligible low income homeowners. This program will assist with exterior doors, windows, water heaters, furnaces, coolers, refrigerators, insulation, weatherstripping, patching holes and other minor repairs. This program is designed for low income homeowners in Merced.
Mission Viejo helps low income homeowners make plumbing, heating and roofing repairs. The program also provides driveway repairs, exterior painting, energy-conservation improvement and window replacement! The city provides up to $25,000 at zero percent interest. These loans do not have to be repaid until the home is sold, transferred, refinanced or no longer occupied by the borrower.
Monterey offers a Mr. Fix It Grant, a Home Safety Grant and a Housing Accessibility Assistance Grant for low income homeowners.
The Mr. Fix-It Grant and Home Safety Grant are used to make minor repairs to plumbing, electrical, water heaters or wall heaters. The funds can also be used to repair or replace toilets, windows, doors and hardware.
The Home Accessibility Assistance Grant provides disability modifications to households with at least one disabled member. The funds can be used to install ramps, railings, grab bars, ball bearing drawers, personal hygiene hardware, appropriate floor coverings, installation of a different tub or shower, widening of doors, rewiring of switches or outlets, alteration of plumbing fixtures and more.
Monterey Park provides home repair grants and loans for low income homeowners. Funding up to $50,000 may be awarded to assist with roofing repairs, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, painting, replacement of broken windows or screens, etc. It can also be used to pay for disability modifications.
San Diego County provides separate programs for owners of single family homes and mobile homes. Single family homeowners can borrow up to $25,000 in a deferred loan that doesn’t have to be repaid until the property is sold, transferred or the original borrower moves away. Mobile home owners can receive up to $12,000 in a non-repayable grant. These programs are available to homeowners in Del Mar, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, Solana Beach or the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.
Norwalk provides home repair grants of up to $8,000 for low income homeowners. The homeowner will not be allowed to move within two years or the amount will have to be repaid.
If that amount is not sufficient, the city also offers a rebate program for up to half the project cost (capped at $10,000), and zero interest deferred loans for larger repairs.
Oakland has tons of programs for low income homeowners! Each program serves a different specific need and has its own qualifying criteria.
Home Maintenance and Improvement Program provides up to $75,000 for single family homeowners. These funds can be used to correct health and safety violations, fix code violations and repair major systems. These loans are deferred and do not require monthly payments. The interest rate varies up to 3 percent depending on your household income.
Emergency Home Repair Grant can cover up to $15,000 toward your emergency home repair. These funds must be used for emergency fixes such as roofing, sewer, electrical or plumbing. Other major system problems must be verified by a health or safety official. These loans have no monthly payments and must be repaid when the property is sold or transferred.
Neighborhood Housing Revitalization Grant provides up to $150,000 per property to correct code violations or eliminate health/safety hazards. To qualify for this program, you must meet credit requirements, financial capacity and other requirements.
Weatherization and Energy Retrofit Loan Program provides up to $30,000 to rehabilitate homes. You can use these funds to add attic insulation, caulking, water heater insulation, energy efficient lighting, furnace maintenance and more.
Access Improvement Program provides up to $15,000 (or $24,000 if a lift is needed) in home repair grants that do not have to be repaid. These funds can be used for modification improvements to the property. However, homeowners must agree to occupy the property for another five years when they receive these funds.
Lead Safe Housing and Paint Program provides free lead hazard risk assessments and painting services to Oakland homeowners who meet one of several criteria. If your household includes an expectant mother or a child under the age of six, you may qualify. Homeowners who are at least 62 years of age or have a disability that prevents them from painting can also qualify.
Oceanside provides below market rate loans to low income homeowners who need to rehabilitate their homes.
Oxnard provides home repair loans with zero interest for single family homeowners and mobile home owners.
Single family homeowners can choose between a matched and non-matched loan option. Under the non-match option, the city contributes the amount needed for the repairs. Repairs up to $30,000 will be forgiven after 20 years, as long as you are still living in the home. Repairs exceeding $30,000 must be repaid within 10 years with monthly payments.
Through the match loan, homeowners contribute one dollar for every three dollars provided by the city. Loans of up to $15,000 will be forgiven after five years and loans of up to $30,000 will be forgiven after 10 years, as long as you comply with the program terms.
Mobile home owners can only receive a non-matched loan. Loans of up to $10,000 will be forgiven after five years and loans of up to $20,000 will be forgiven after 10 years. If the loan is more than $20,000, any excess will have to be repaid over 10 years with monthly payments. Again, forgiveness depends on cooperation with the terms of the program.
Palm Desert provides up to $7,500 in emergency home repair grants, up to $20,000 in rehabilitation grants for very low income households and up to $7,500 for lead and asbestos abatement treatment for low income families. The city also offers low and very loan interest loans of up to $45,000 for eligible properties. Low income households may also be able to receive $7,500 in loans to assist with Drought Tolerant Landscape Retrofitting.
Palm Springs can help eligible low income homeowners correct plumbing, electrical repairs, heating and cooling, accessibility modifications, broken windows and city code violations.
Paradise provides deferred low interest home repair loans. They can assist with roof repair, roof replacement, electrical issues, plumbing, septic system repairs, septic system replacement and other needs.
Pasadena provides a Maintenance Assistance and Services to Homeowners program for low income seniors and disabled homeowners. The MASH program provides assistance with exterior painting, trim work, minor repairs, code violation programs and wheelchair ramp installation.
Pico Rivera has up to $60,000 for low income residents who need help correcting health and safety violations in their homes. These deferred loans carry zero percent interest and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. When funding runs out, no further loans are issued.
Pleasanton has several home rehabilitation programs for low income home buyers.
- Major Owner Rehabilitation Loans provide low interest, amortized or deferred loans of up to $35,000.
- Minor Home Repair Grants of up to $2,000 are available to help correct immediate threats to health and safety.
- Seismic loans of up to $5,000 can be used to improve the seismic stability of the structure with foundation bolting, chimney replacement and more. Mobile home owners can also receive these funds as a grant.
- Mobile home owners can receive up to $25,000 to assist with significant repairs. The loan may be deferred or amortized.
- Mobile home repair emergency grants of up to $5,000 can be awarded to assist with imminent needs.
- Accessibility grants of up to $5,000 can be awarded to homeowners and renters who meet certain requirements.
- Exterior clean-up grants can provide up to $2,000 to help improve the exterior appearance of owned or rented homes.
- Exterior paint grants can provide up to $3,000.
Pomona has a few home repair grant and loan programs for low income homeowners.
- The Substantial Rehabilitation Loan Program provides a deferred loan of up to $60,000 for repairs. The loan bears a 2 to 4 percent interest rate depending on the funding and income details. Funding must be used to correct code violations or complete urgent maintenance.
- Housing Improvement Grant Program provides up to $5,000 for exterior home improvements and interior health/safety repairs. Each year, 20 percent of the amount provided is forgiven as long as the borrower remains in good standing and complies with the program terms.
- The Cal-Home Manufactured Housing Rehab Loan Program provides up to $25,000 toward improvements on mobile homes located in Pomona parks.
Porterville has a home rehabilitation program and a disability modifications grant program for low income homebuyers. The Housing Rehabilitation and Public Utilities Loan Program provides up to $40,000 in deferred zero interest loans to qualified applicants. The ADA Exterior Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Grant Program provides up to $10,000 toward installation of a wheelchair ramp.
Redwood has a home improvement loan program that provides assistance with roof replacement, heating, windows, energy efficiency upgrades and more. The loan bears 2 percent interest and must be repaid over 15 years.
- The Emergency Loan Program provides up to $15,000 to homeowners who have credit problems and need help fixing an emergency situation. The loans carry an interest of 0-3% percent. Borrowers must attend credit counseling.
- The Home Improvement Loan offers up to $35,000 for home improvements with an interest of 0-3%.
- The Deferred Loan Program provides a $20,000 loan for seniors and disabled residents who need to make home improvements. These loans have a zero percent interest rates.
Riverside offers interest-free home repair loans of up to $50,000. They also offer several home repair grants for seniors and disabled persons. Qualified applicants can receive up to $5,000 for a single family home or $8,000 for a mobile home.
San Bernadino County maintains a helpful list of home repair grants and loans on their website. You can go straight to their PDF by clicking here!
San Diego is served by the San Diego Housing Commission, which provides home repair grants and loans for a variety of repair needs. Their website is extremely vague, so you will have to contact SDHC for more information.
San Jose provides critical repair services through Rebuilding Together of Silicon Valley. They provide assistance with critical roof repairs, loss of heat, loss of hot water, critical plumbing, critical sewage issues and critical electrical issues. If the needed repairs exceed $5,000, the City of San Jose may be able to provide a loan.
San Mateo residents can receive assistance with minor home repairs from El Concillio of San Mateo County, Rebuilding Together Peninsula and Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities.
Santa Clara helps homeowners correct code violations and hazardous conditions with their Neighborhood Conservation and Improvement Program. The funding is provided through home repair grants, loans or a combination of both.
Santa Maria residents are served by the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, which operates a minor home repair program.
Stockton has an Emergency Repair Program that provides one-time assistance to low income property owners who need help correcting code violations. Homeowners who are over the age of 65 may be able to receive the assistance as a grant.
Stockton also has Single Family Housing Repair Loan Program that provides financial assistance for substantial interior and exterior repairs. The loans have one percent simple interest and are repaid upon the sale or transfer of the property.
Turlock provides home repair loans for homeowners. The funds can be used for bathroom and kitchen remodels as well as fencing, floor coverings, interior and exterior paint, pest control, foundation repair and more. However, there is a wait list for this program.
Union City residents can receive rehabilitation grants from the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department. These funds can be used to fix roofing, foundation issues, termite damage, dry rot, kitchen or bath damage and more.
Upland provides an emergency repair program for low income families. They also provide a Housing Improvement Program (HIP) that can provide a low or no interest loan of up to $90,000 for homeowners who cannot get conventional funding and need to make repairs to their homes.
Walnut Creek provides low-interest home rehabilitation loans (up to $65,000) and emergency home repair grants (up to $20,000) for Walnut Creek homeowners.
Watsonville has low interest loans for eligible low income homeowners. These programs can be used to fix code violations, install disability modifications, correct failing building systems and repair structural deficiencies.
Westminster provides loans for home improvements. However, they do not provide much detail on what is involved with this.
Whittier is served by the Habitat of Humanity of Los Angeles. This program provides home repair grants up to $5,000 that resolve health, safety and security concerns.
Yolo County provides loans of up to $90,000 for low income homeowners who need to make health or safety related repairs to their homes. To qualify, you must live in the unincorporated area of Yolo County.