Financial Aid Programs for Disabled Home Buyers

Financial Aid Programs for Disabled Home Buyers

By: M Shane

An essential part of the American dream has always included home ownership. People with mental or physical limitations also share this dream, and for them, owning their own home can mean an independent life for the first time ever. While their disabilities may pose some limitations on the number of suitable properties on the market, often their biggest hurdle is a lack of financial resources.

Depending on the type and severity of the disability, a person might not be able to work full-time. If that's the case, he or she is likely dependent on income assistance. Typically, income assistance barely pays enough for a person to scrape together a living, never mind buy a house. Fortunately, there are programs out there that offer financial assistance to disabled buyers, thus empowering them to gain independence and own their own home.

FHA-insured Loans

FHA-insured home loans aren't strictly for people with disabilities, but assist all low-income earners with buying a house. If the following statements apply to your situation, you may be interested in learning more about FHA-insured loans:

  • you're a first time buyer
  • your credit is flawed, or hasn't been established enough to have a high score
  • you don't have enough money for a traditional down payment
  • you need to maintain low monthly payments over the course of the mortgage

FHA loans are a very attractive option for low-income buyers. Their benefits include:

  • A smaller down payment. The amount required is just 3.5%, and the down payment can come from an employer, family member, or charity.
  • Less stringent qualifications. People with less than stellar credit can apply for FHA-insured loans, and because the loan is insured by the FHA, banks may be willing to relax their application standards.

Fannie Mae Community HomeChoice with PHFA Access Modification

This program from Fannie Mae offers financial aid for people with disabilities, or for those who share a residence with a person that has a disability. Its primary goal is to help buyers purchase a home that offers greater accessibility, or to retrofit their current abode.

The Community HomeChoice with PHFA Access Modification program is for people who don't qualify for a standard PHFA home loan. The access modification component is an interest-free, subordinated loan that doesn't need to be repaid as long as the buyer continues to use the home as his primary residence. There are a number of eligibility requirements, so contact Fannie Mae for more details.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity (HFH) has provided more than 1 million people around the world with homes to live in. For low-income families and persons with disabilities, HFH homes are simple, safe, and affordable. The houses are built by volunteers and by the "partner families" who are seeking housing assistance.

Habitat homes are sold for zero profit, which means that the mortgage payments are very low. Habitat for Humanity is also a big believer in creating accessible housing—with elements such as zero-step entranceways, and extra wide doorways and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices. To learn more about how to apply for a HFH home, please visit

Homes for our Troops

Homes for our Troops is a non-profit program that is designed to help permanently injured veterans buy their own homes. Through fundraising and volunteer labor, the organization either builds a new home for the veteran, or retrofits an existing home to accommodate their disability. For more information on this reputable program, visit their website at

In addition the programs mentioned above, many states also have their own financial aid programs available for disabled buyers and low-income earners. Your realtor may know of local assistance programs, or you can visit the website for The National Organization on Disability. They have an extensive list of organizations located around the country that help those with disabilities. Go to, and click on Information & Resources for more information.

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