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108+ Wisconsin home repair programs, grants & assistance 2024

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Wisconsin has over 108 grants for home repair and home improvement grants available to lower income homeowner families and individuals. This article provides you with all the main home repair programs offered throughout the state in 2024.

 

Updated: May 22, 2024
 
 

Budgeting for home repairs can be tough. In Wisconsin, the 2024 Homeowners Repair Survey found almost 1/3 of homeowners have to delay them, and more than half delay repairs for financial reasons: 

 
  • – 31% of Wisconsin homeowners have to delay repairs.
  • – 63% of those homeowners delay them for financial reasons.
 
 

So you’re not alone. The programs below will help you find those funds for your home.

 
 

Who provide grants for home repairs in Wisconsin?

 

There are 5 main sources of financial assistance for home improvement in Wisconsin:

 
  1. 1- Federal Programs : HUD (Housing and Urban Development) is the Federal housing agency providing programs and funds to the State, Counties and cities.
  2. 2- State of Wisconsin : Wisconsin Department of Housing and Community Development: (WHD) is a state agency offering funds to Counties, cities and local organisations in Wisconsin.
  3. 3- Counties and cities programs : The main organizations offering funds (over $88M) and programs to help Wisconsin with home repair, rehabilitation and improvement are at your county and city level.
  4. 4- Non-profits & community organisations: Almost every cities, towns and counties have non-profits helping homeowners with home repairs. More so for lower income and seniors homeowners.
  5. 5- Rural areas: Homeowners in rural areas have less resources but there are still often non-profits and the USDA is also helping rural homeowners with $271,000.
 

You can review the Federal and the State of Wisconsin home repair grants but ultimately your county and city are the ones you need to contact and where you can apply for funding.

 
 

Jump to specific needs or project:

 
  1. Disasters
  2. Veterans
  3. Seniors
  4. Windows
 
 
 

Who is eligible for government home improvement grant?

 

In Wisconsin all homeowners are eligible to home improvement and repairs grants and assistance (find them all in this article). In reality, because the needs are so big, some groups like seniors, veterans, disable and low-income households are given priority. Even in those case, you need to apply as soon as possible because funds are limited.

 

So it’s often first arrived first served basis: apply early.

 

Each programs have their own eligibility, so you need to verify with programs in your area to see info you meet the income eligibility level.

 

You can start with this table as reference for programs eligibility:

 
  Cities & Suburbs Rural
Low income WAP, Cities & Counties programs, State, Non-Profits, Disasters USDA, WAP, Cities & Counties programs, State, Non-profits, Disasters

Medium/High income

Traditional loans, State, Disasters USDA, Traditional loans, State, Disasters.
 
 
 

Which free grants for homeowners for repairs exist?

 

In general, in Wisconsin all repair and improvement programs are there to help with:

 
  • – Ensure your home does not harm its residents’ health.
  • – Ensure your home structure is safe and may not risk hurting its resident.
  • – Help seniors and disabled residents stay in their homes longer and safer.
 

More precisely the following work and repair are usually covered by home improvement grants programs:

 
  • Roof: Free roof replacement grants programs. Also see our Guide to repair, fix or change your roof.
  • Windows & doors: Windows replacement grants and exterior doors. We have also a Guide for Windows Replacement
  • Foundations: Foundation repair grants and programs usually covers home foundation repairs.
  • Electrical & plumbing : Grants for electrical repair and plumbing assistance repairs are covered as long as they bring your home electrical and plumbing up to the local code. It can be a total rewiring, changing your panel or only a few cables or sockets. Same for plumbing, partial or complete pipe changes.
  • Heating & cooling: Counties and cities have heating grants and cooling programs to bring your system up to actual living standards. Those are usually HVAC, furnace and air conditioning.
  • Lead paints & pipes plus asbestos: Most programs cover the removal and change of lead and asbestos materials dangerous to your health.
  • Sewers and water line: Most home improvement grant programs cover funds to have your home connected to your town water and sewer system and in other cases to your well or septic tank.
  • Home structure: In some cases, if your home structure is no longer safe, programs will help with fixing the home structural problems. Note: in some cases the cost may be too high to fix and another program can help get a new one.
  • Home remodeling: In some cases a home can be remodeled if they need major repairs as long as the cost is not prohibitive. Since the total amount vary by program you have to verify on this page for programs in your area.
  • Bathroom remodeling: Some programs let you remodel a bathroom in order to bring them to sanitary and health standard.
  • Home modifications for seniors: There are multiple programs to modify seniors’ homes to help them living longer independently at home. Common modification are ramps, handle bars, bathrooms modication and kitchen are adaptations. You can find those resources in our resource for senior home modifications.
 
 
 

Confused about home improvement programs terms?

 

It can be confusing to understand the terms. Lots of different organizations have different words for the same type of help programs: home improvement grant, home repair grants, programs, free grants, relief service, repair assistance, etc. They are all synonyms of programs designed to help low and moderate income homeowners repair and fix important element of their house.

 
 
 

Can I get a $10,000 grant for home improvement?

 

Can you get a $10,000 grant for home improvement? Quick answer is yes. Find on this page all the information you need for home improvement programs in Wisconsin, by cities and by counties. Learn: how much they provide, if you’re eligible and where to apply.

 
 
 

What types of home improvement help is in Wisconsin?

 

Home repair programs comes in many form but they are usually in the 5 types:

 

Home Repair Grants & Home Improvement Grants: Typically homeowner grants for home improvement don’t need to be repaid. The organization providing the funding covers the cost of the work and you don’t pay anything back.

 

Volunteers and charities home repairs: Some organizations rely on volunteers to repair your home so there’s no cost to you.

 

Home improvement loans: These are traditional loans where you have to repay a fix amount monthly but they are usually with a lower than normal interest rate.

 

Home improvement loans paid at term: It’s a traditional loan paid back in full only when you leave or sell your home. This mean you have nothing to pay monthly. The organization offering these loans usually take a lien on your home to be certain to be paid in the future.

 

Forgivable home improvement loans: It’s a traditional loans but you do have to pay it back monthly. Instead after a few years the organization forgive your loan.

 

Note: In some rare case you may find yourself with a mix of the types above. In all cases the important is you get help to fix your home and keep it secured and a place for you to live in a safe and healthy home.

 
 
 

HUD (Urban Housing Department) (2 programs)

 

HUD is the federal agency funding the Wisconsin’s Housing agencies, Counties and Cities. HUD have many programs from home buyer help, renter help, homeowners funding among many for home repairs and improvements.

 

2 loans programs helps people renovate, rehabilitate or improve their home (mobile homes included). Both are loan insurances for Wisconsin’s homeowners who couldn’t otherwise get a loan:

 

Rehabilitation and repair loan (insurance): Known as “Title I Property Improvement Loan Program”, it helps you if you have not enough equity for a traditional loan, and the FHA (part of HUD) insure your loan for your lender.

 
  • – House Loan amount limit: $25,000
  • – Mobile home Loan amount limit: $25,090
 

203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance: This a special FHA loan that allows you to finance both the purchase or refinancing of a house and the cost of renovations into a single mortgage.

 
  • – Limited 203k: Projects less than $35,000.
  • – Standard 203k: Projects over $35,000.
 

In both Tittle 1 and 203(k), the money for the renovations is put in an escrow account and is only released to the contractor when the work is completed and inspected by a qualified professional. This helps ensure that the renovations are done properly and that the money is used for its intended purpose. It protects both the lender and you the homeowner.

 
 
 
 

Wisconsin Department of Housing (WHD) (1 program)

 

This Department have 1 home improvement directly helping homeowners. 

 

Owner-occupied rehabilitation: Eligible costs are energy-related improvements, accessibility improvements, lead-based paint hazard reduction, and repair of code violations.

 
 
 

Disasters: FEMA in Wisconsin (10s if resources)

 

When the Federal Agency FEMA declare some area(s) of Wisconsin a disaster area, the area’s residents can then apply for financial aid.

 

You can find if your area is declared a disaster area by FEMA here then if it is, claim disaster assistance with the federal government. If you’re impacted by a disaster, you may be able to claim housing, financial, food, medical, etc.

 
 

SBA (4 programs)

In the case of a disaster the SBA can provides grants and home loans to impacted homeowners. The funding covers losses not covered by your insurance and FEMA assistance.
 
 
 

Habitat for Humanity (36 programs)

 

Thanks to their volunteers, Habitat rehabilitates houses for families and people in need in Wisconsin with 36 local chapters with their own home programs. They may be able to help with home repairs and updates to make your home safer. This organization relies on you, or some neighbors if you’re elderly, to put some of the work into your home repairs. You can apply through Habitat to learn about help available in your area.

 
 

Habitat for Humanity ReStores (29 resources)

 

ReStores provide discounted used, surplus building materials, appliances and furniture.

 
 
 

Rebuilding Together (3 programs)

 
Rebuilding Together Wisconsin helps homeowners with many local organization. They do essential repairs so people can stay in their homes.
 
 
 

Community Action Partnership of Wisconsin (CAP) (18 resources)

 

These 18 non profits located throughout Wisconsin offer many services to their residents area. They usually offer home repair assistance programs, WAP and LIHEAP for low and moderate income homeowners.

 

Find your area CAP by looking on this map. Then contact your closest agency to see the programs they have for homeowners like you.

 
 
 

Veterans Home Repair (0 program)

 

The state no longer offer a grant and loan program for veterans.

 

Here is the organisation contact info

 
 
 

Window replacement programs (4 programs)

 

Window replacement can be done for homeowners with 4 different programs (some cities and counties also have a program for roof only). You’ll find more resources in the article for windows replacement programs in Wisconsin.

 
 

Weatherization Assistant Program (WAP)

 

WAP is funded by the Federal but managed locally. It help improve or change windows for energy efficient ones at no cost. It also pay for attic insulation and ventilation, repair or replace broken heating, cooling and water heaters, as well as many other small work to improve your home energy efficiency.

 
Weatherization funding per home (average)
  Spent per Home Homes Weatherized Budget
Wisconsin

$8,000

7,573 $79M
Source: State of Wisconsin
 
 

Find the program detail and contact your local organisation managing WAP.

 
 

WIHEAP: This program is mostly to help pay your heating and cooling cost but it may also help fix, repair or replace broken windows for energy efficient ones.

 

Find more info about the program eligibility and apply online for WIHEAP.

 
 
 
 

Home Repair for Seniors in Wisconsin (1 program)

 

Wisconsin’s Department of Aging offer many services to seniors. You can find the list here.

 

Question: Are home repair for senior citizens free?

 

Answer: Yes, usually, but it’s often different for each program. Some programs are 100% free while some other require a contribution and in other case. In most case they are free if the senior have a low income. You find your programs and your eligibility with the programs on this page.

 

Home Modification and Repair: This program promote the safety and well-being of adults in their homes; designed to increase accessibility, reduce the risk of injury, and improve older adults’ ability to stay at home; it may also include the purchase of certain assistive devices. It’s managed locally by your local Area Agencies on Aging.

 
 
 
 

Wisconsin Rural Residents (1 program)

 

The USDA provide home improvement loans and government grants to low-income homeowners in Wisconsin’s rural areas.

 

WI homeowner amounts:

Grant (average): $6,698

Loan (average): $8,851

 

Who may apply for this program?

To qualify, you must:

  • – Be the homeowner and occupy the house
  • – Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
  • – Have a family income below 50 percent of the area median income
  • – For grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan
 

What is an eligible area?

Applicants may check the address of their home to determine eligibility.

 

How may funds be used?

  • Loans may be used to repair, improve or modernize housing or remove health and safety hazards
  • Grants must be used to remove health and safety hazards
 

How much money can I get?

  • – Maximum loan is $40,000
  • – Maximum grant is $10,000
  • – Loans and grants can be combined for up to $50,000 in payment assistance
 

What are the terms of the loan or grant?

  • – Loans can be repaid over 20 years
  • – Loan interest rate is fixed at 1%
  • – Full title service is required for loans of $7,500 or more
  • – Grants have a lifetime limit of $7,500
  • – Grants must be repaid if the property is sold in less than 3 years
  • – If applicants can repay part, but not all of the costs, applicants may be offered a loan and grant combination
 

Is there a deadline to apply?

Applications for this program are accepted through your local USDA’s RD office all year round

 

How long does an application take?

 

Approval times depend on funds availability in your area.

 
 
 
 

Programs by County & City (26 programs)

 

Wisconsin counties have approved home repair and government grant programs and most major cities also have similar help for homeowners. Cities and counties received over $88M ($62M CDGB + $26M HOME) last fiscal year to help residents with various programs.

 

If you don’t see your county or city below you should contact it directly and ask them if the city have a home repair program.

 
 
 

Milwaukee County

 
 

City of Milwaukee

 
 

Dane County

 
 

City of Madison

 
 

Waukesha County

 
 

Brown County

 
 

Racine County

 
 

Outagamie County

 
 

Winnebago County

 
 

Kenosha County

 
 

Rock County

 
 

Marathon County

 
 

Washington County

 
 

Sheboygan County

 
 

La Crosse County

 
 

Eau Claire County

 
 

Ozaukee County

 
 

Walworth County