Home Improvement Assistance Programs

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Von Jones, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Being a senior has yet opened another door for us. For months I had been searching online for financial grants specifically for home improvements. The one important thing that I look for is a rating by the Better Business Bureau and good recommendations. Most of them required that you be 65 or older. So one day I was surfing the net and the phone rang. There was a woman asking if I needed home improvements. Without any hesitation I said yes and she proceeded to explain the program. I asked what age do they consider a senior to be. She put me on hold for a brief moment and then came back and said 55 years old.

    My understanding is that the government will pay a percentage of the cost and the company arranges a payment plan for the balance preferably one that will fit your budget. This company has branches in Georgia, Ohio, Washington, DC. Rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau.

    I asked to be contacted again once the winter weather broke for someone to come buy and explain the program in more detail and to see if we qualify.

    Has anyone ever contacted any company that offered assistance on home improvements?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I told the story in another thread so I won't go into detail, but Penquis CAP (community assistance program) recommended us for a program that put heat pumps in homes that they deemed would benefit from them, as in saving on oil heating costs. It wasn't a age or income related however, but a part of an energy savings grant. They would also insulate houses that they deemed would benefit from it. They would have blown new insulation in for our house, but I would have had to close off the attic. Since I've spent the past several years making a room out of the attic, that wasn't something I wanted to do. Still, the heat pump has cut back on the amount of oil we've used this winter and, as an added plus, it will cool in the summer.
     
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  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson, did you have to pay out of pocket for this? We have a community action program here to I'll have to check into that. I've heard that it's has pretty strict guidelines to qualify from others. You practically have to be broke to qualify.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    No, it didn't cost us a cent. The program was done through a grant from some organization interested in energy saving, although we were referred to it through Penquis CAP. The criteria for the heat pump was not based on either income or age, however. The qualifications were based on the estimated savings that the heat pump would generate. As I mentioned, the same program paid for insulating houses that qualified. They came by our house for that as well, since some of our walls were insulated with newspaper rather than actual insulation and, after a hundred years, it's pretty well crumbled. We didn't qualify for the insulation due to some problem they had with our attic room. With the attic, they estimated that the savings from the insulation wouldn't be sufficient to qualify for the grant. That too, was not based on either income or age.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
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  5. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    Is this a government program, as in, our taxes pay for it?? And it's not based on financial need? Can you post a link to the original post?
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    If I come across it, I will. I don't remember the name of the organization but no, it was not a government agency. For the most part, Penquis CAP seeks out programs that can help people with various things, most of which are based on income, and I think they have some that intended for seniors as well. For example, for those who qualify due to low income, they will pay for heating oil or to subsidize electrical costs. When our nephew was with us, we qualified for that because we were paying his expenses as well, but we haven't qualified for any income-based assistance since he moved off on his own. My understanding is that the Community Action Program receives grants, some of which may be governmental, that they distribute based on whatever qualifications might have been placed on them, but they also seek out private foundations and other organizations that offer other programs, some of which are not income-based.
     
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  7. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the info Ken. It's always nice to know what kinds of programs there are out there. I'm on a fixed income, so these things help.

    As you can tell, though, I'm a little touchy about all the free programs the government provides, with no regard to financial need. I have a niece who lives better than my husband and I. Between section 8 housing (at $1500 a month), food stamps, child care benefits (for 3 kids), free medical care, free cell phone, utility assistance, etc - she makes the equivalent of $50-60K a year, tax-free - and doesn't work a day, even though she is perfectly capable of working.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I agree, but while everyone's anger is generally directed at the people who avail themselves of such programs, they continue to reelect the people who put them into place. It difficult to track down where the money is coming from because so much of it is hidden in private-public partnerships, grant programs, and third-party distributions. In one sense, it's all tax money because these foundations and organizations would not exist without tax exemptions, and many of them do receive government grants.

    Some people view Social Security as a government giveaway, and it is for those who have not paid taxes, yet qualify for benefits under the program. For the rest of us, however, we've paid into the program throughout our working lives, and we'd be fools not to collect on it. Are we taking more out of it than we have put in? Some have, but others don't even live long enough to collect a cent.

    With all of the money that our government is spending every day, bringing people across the border to line up for a place on the public dole, and on foreign aid to countries that hate us, and those that are doing better financially than we are, I have trouble, these days, worrying too much about an American citizen taking a cut. With a stroke of a pen, we make illegal aliens, who haven't paid one cent of taxes to the United States, eligible for Social Security, housing, and free tuition, yet we go after, with vengeance, the American citizen who owes $700 to the IRS. It just doesn't make sense.
     
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