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Chapter 3 - Financial Aid and Housing Assistance Programs
Financial assistance is a major concern for people with disabilities in housing issues whether that financial assistance is in the form of rental assistance or programs to help the person purchase a home. People with disabilities may need special consideration either because of the disability itself or because of lower incomes. Assistance to do architectural modifications and home repairs is another area of concern.
The field of housing is a complex field with overlapping government and quasi-government programs working with community lenders and private, non-profit agencies to meet the housing needs of people with disabilities. Some of these agencies will actually pay for the smaller things involved in architectural modifications and housing repairs. Other agencies offer low-interest loans with favorable repayment conditions. A few will work directly with people with disabilities and some provide specific types of loans through participating community lenders. An example of the latter is the Fannie Mae Home Choice loan product which is only accessed through participating lenders and is geared to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
Sometimes agencies like the local Community Action serve as a clearinghouse for a lot of housing programs. Some specific Community Action affiliates do the Affordable Home Ownership Opportunities for People with Disabilities (AHOOPD) program, others do not. Some private, non-profit agencies like Habitat for Humanity only do new construction of houses. Others may offer purchase of existing homes and new homes. Some agencies work directly with consumers to meet their housing needs. Good examples of this are the local public housing authorities, the local Community Action agency, and the local Habitat for Humanity. However, some agencies work principally with lenders in providing a particular loan product. They may not work directly with individuals with disabilities who are seeking housing. As mentioned before, Fannie Mae underwrites their Home Choice loan product for participating lenders. The individual who is interested in Home Choice would contact the First Mortgage Company in Oklahoma City or Bank One at their toll-free number to find out more information.
A number of different options will be approached in this section to meet your housing and financial needs. You will be called upon to make some decisions about what you want Do you want to rent, or do you want to own? Do you already rent or own your home and seek architectural modifications to make your home more accessible to your disability? Do you own your home and need to make home repairs? This chapter on financial aid and housing programs will provide information on all these questions. We have tried to simplify housing programs for your benefit and better understanding.
The 203 (k) FHA loan insurance is designed to permit a qualifying applicant to purchase a home and finance home repairs on that home simultaneously. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) covers this loan product in fifteen pages on their website http://www.hud.gov/. We will tell you what this loan is and some of its essential features, but if you are interested in details and would like to know if you qualify, you may choose to contact a participating local lender who can provide you more information on all FHA loan products.
This section will cover credit and how your credit rating will impact your ability to purchase a home, information on where you can go to pull up your own credit report, information about a credit score and what some people consider a satisfactory score for the purchase of a home. If you need assistance in identifying your credit problems and in clearing up these problems, we will refer you to your local chapter of Consumer Credit Counseling. This chapter will provide you some information and refer you to other agencies, websites, and programs for further consideration.