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Financial Assistance for Roof Repair for Seniors

My mother needs her roof repaired, and has no money to fix it. Can someone help with this for free? She is 86 years old and lives on a fixed income. I live in California and can't help her. She is strong and will need to stay in her home for some years.

By Lydia

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September 1, 20110 found this helpful
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Check with community action agencies in your mom's area, and with the local Area Agency on Aging office. They should be aware of any home repair programs available for elderly homeowners.

Habitat for Humanity varies from area to area but I am not aware of any of them doing home repairs. Their mission and goal is to increase homeownership, but their focus is not to keep people in homes they already own.

A reverse mortgage might sound like a great idea but if you go this route be very careful. This area of mortgage lending is notorious for predatory practices. While many companies hawk reverse mortgages, the only safe route is through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program backed by HUD. More information can be found here, including a number to call and a searchable list of HUD-approved reverse mortgage lenders:

http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hecm/hecm--df.cfm

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September 2, 20110 found this helpful
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Also check with her city and county housing department offices. There are times that they offer free or low cost help for housing repairs.

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September 3, 20110 found this helpful
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Where I am, we have a charity called "Rebuilding Together" and it's a national group to make home repairs so seniors can stay in their home. Ask local churches. Habitat for Humanity where I am just had a program for "weatherization"; this includes roof repairs. You have to apply. Check with the H4H in her area or in yours for a referral, or check the website.

Call her County's Health and Human Services Department - they would know if there are any state or county programs, including any senior programs. Also, telephone a roofer (or bldg contractor) in her area and ask about any programs or charity.

A lot of repairs can be done cheaply, if you know what you are doing and don't need to replace the entire roof, and maybe she could afford a cheap repair that even a neighbor may be able to do.

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September 5, 20110 found this helpful
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If there is a county Office for the Aging you should contact them. Here in upstate NY they fixed my mother's roof, installed a handrail on the back steps and got her a new furnace. They help with safety issues, so that the elderly can stay in their own homes longer.

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September 1, 20110 found this helpful

Check with the Department of Aging - & any senior citizen groups that you can find in your mother's home state to look for programs that fiz up homes for seniors free or at very little cost - I think Habitat for Humanity may do that, too - so check with them also.

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September 1, 20110 found this helpful

Habitat For Humanity builds homes, I have never heard of them doing repairs, unless it is a house that they have bought and are refurbishing for a family to purchase. I have worked in non-profit offices and each office is aware of what other organizations do. I never heard of any organization that helped with repairs.

Where I live the Home Builders Association makes repairs to a limited number of homes for seniors and disabled people, every spring. The materials are donated by businesses and the contractors do the actual work. Call your Mother's church and see if they could help. Would it be possible for your Mother to sell her house as is and move into an apartment complex for senior citizens( I don't mean assisted living, just a plain apartment.)

There are a lot of HUD apartments for seniors that the rent is based on 30% of their income. If your Mother's income is low enough it might not cost her anything, and maybe just a few dollars a month. Consider she still has to pay taxes on her home. There is usually a waiting list for these apartments.

Also if her house is paid for she could apply for a reverse mortgage that would pay for repairs. It would really be best if you could go visit and check into these things for your Mother.

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September 2, 20110 found this helpful

Hi, my feedback idea is perhaps to approach a local church to see if they have a program to help your parent.

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September 2, 20110 found this helpful

Here in AZ, we have Angels On Call. If she lives in AZ, they may be able to help; and there may be an organization like that in her state. Google it.

Pat

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September 4, 20110 found this helpful

Reverse mortgage is something that I sure would NOT recommend. After going to a meeting to find out about how they work and the cost. In our case they wanted over $17,000 right off the top. Plus $35-$45 every month to do the paper work. Just was to scary with the housing market the way it is. If anyone is considering a reverse mortgage. Please get more information from those that have one already. GG Vi

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September 25, 20111 found this helpful

If your family has a service member or had one that has since passed. You may try to contact your local Veterans of Foreign Wars. They may able to help or have someone there who can do it at a low cost. I know one church here in Missouri helped with one for a senior.

Good luck.

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