Are you seeking relief from the financial burdens and pressures of home ownership? As a senior homeowner, you may be eligible for programs that lighten the load.
Many offerings are available to provide help for seniors owning a home. Some are financial programs for mortgage relief. Others assist with the costs of modifying, remodeling, or updating your home. Additionally, resources are available that may be able to help you with utilities, housekeeping, and chores.
Check out the best resources to help you continue to live independently—with a lighter burden on your peace of mind, and your wallet.
Are you struggling to make house payments? Mortgage rates are at a historic low and as you’ve seen in the news, it’s a great time to explore refinancing and mortgage relief programs.
Are you looking for refinancing options? A new program called FMERR, or Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance may help you. This program is a way for homeowners to get a lower interest rate, a shorter loan term, or change from an adjustable to a fixed-rate mortgage. The good news here, there is no minimum credit score needed.
You can check your eligibility online. Plus, you can use an online service to find and contact FMERR program lenders in your state.
Since the pandemic began, most lenders have offered forbearance and loan modification options. However, recently, the White House’s home loan modifications make relief a more concrete option. Check with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, called FHFA, for an overview of program options.
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The new loan modification programs rules may apply to you if you have an FHA, VA, or USDA loan. Experts recommend talking directly to your lender to find out details.
If you aren’t sure about your rights and choices, talk with a housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To locate a housing counselor in your state, check with the HUD website.
Are you holding off on repairs or updates due to costs? Some programs may be able to help you spring for the remodeling.
Repairing your home makes your home safer, and helps you live in your own home as long as possible. Modifications will make it easier to stay safe. You can update your home to prevent accidents, reduce the risk of falls, and increase your ability to live an independent lifestyle.
You may find a program that provides financial assistance—helping you save money on repairs and remodeling. In the long run, many repairs offer the added benefit of lowering utility bills, by reducing energy usage. You’ll save money at the outset, and long term.
The Older Americans Act provides funds for repairs and home modifications for seniors. Contact your county’s Area Agency on Aging for program details. The Agency should also be able to advise you of other local government programs, available through your city, county, or community development department.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers grants under the Section 504 Home Repair program. These grants assist elderly very-low-income homeowners to fix and repair health and safety hazards in their homes.
Rebuilding Together is a national non-profit devoted to helping people in need and working to revitalize communities. Their programs help seniors stay in their own homes. They offer programs that help with repairs and home modifications. These upgrades may be available for you to help you stay healthy and independent in your own home.
HELPS is a non-profit law firm that assists senior citizens with legal issues. If you have a house payment you can’t afford or are getting harassing calls from debt collectors, you may be struggling with non-stop anxiety. Reach out and talk with a legal advisor to understand and evaluate your options.
Talk with your local contractor about reduced fees for seniors. Many companies are happy to help seniors at a reduced fee, or with a sliding scale. Check with contractors when asking for bids, to see if this is a viable option.
Check your long-term care insurance policy. Some policies cover some home modifications that may be useful in your situation.
Are you struggling with utility bills? These programs are available to older homeowners who meet the eligibility requirements.
Home Energy Assistance Program provides cash grants to eligible households to help pay a portion of home heating expenses. To get information about HEAP programs in your state, contact your State Office for the Aging.
Check with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income households pay for energy costs. If you qualify, it could help you with updating your home with important weatherizing and energy-related repairs. If you prefer, you can contact the program by phone at 1-866-674-6327.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) could also be a place to check in with. This program helps homeowners with financial assistance to keep homes energy-efficient and weatherized.
Could you use some help around the house? Check out these great programs.
Start investigating local options, by getting in touch with your local Area Agency on Aging. This is a one-stop resource to discover out services available for seniors. You will get up-to-date information on local, state, and federal services all in one centralized spot.
While you’re checking out local offerings, check with the Eldercare Directory. In many states, you’ll locate reliable sources that offer caregiver assistance. You may want to extend your search to include local agencies that offer ‘chore and homemaker assistance.’
This will help you find services that can help with house cleaning and housekeeping. It may extend the scope of services so you can get help with shopping, laundry, general house cleaning, preparing meals, and yard work.
In addition, look into your neighborhood and city. Many local churches and charities have special programs to help seniors with housekeeping. Talk with social workers, healthcare providers, community centers, and city services to expand your search. As you do, you’ll find senior services programs near you.
While you compile your options, create a local list. This may come in handy for friends, family, neighbors, and people whom you know who may need a hand with household chores.
As you evaluate options, investigate in-home care services, such as Visiting Angels. You can start with a free home care consultation to evaluate your needs.
Look into in-home housekeeping services in your area. For example, Assisting Hands offers in-home housekeeping for the elderly in Portland. Do an Internet search for ‘housekeeping help for seniors.’ You’ll find local services that can help you with customized solutions for a clean and safe home.
Staying in your own home is a wise move to stay healthy, active, and independent. Take the initiative to get the help you need. With help, you may be able to find resources to enjoy living comfortably in your own home—with less stress and more ease.