There are many different VA home loan benefits available to qualifying disabled Veterans. They include special consideration for VA-insured mortgages — qualifying disabled Vets don't have to pay a VA loan funding fee, for example. There are also a variety of VA grants used to help Veterans purchase and/or modify housing to suit their needs.
The four types of housing grants for disabled Veterans are:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
- Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant
- Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant
- VA Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant
To qualify for the SAH, SHA and TRA grants, you must have a service-connected disability. The HISA grant, on the other hand, allows for Veterans with non-service-related disabilities to apply.
Which grant is best for me?
If you’re interested in applying for a housing grant but aren’t sure which one is best for you, take a look at the chart below.
|Grant||Main uses||Who qualifies?|
|Specially Adapted Housing (SAH)||Purchasing, renovating or building specially adapted housing||Veterans with blindness in both eyes, loss of use of extremities or severe burn injury|
|Special Home Adaption (SHA)||Adapting or updating the home where a Veteran currently lives||Veterans with certain severe burns, certain respiratory issues and the loss of use of both hands|
|Temporary Residence Adaption||Modifying a family member's property to meet a Veteran’s needs||Must qualify for either SAH grant or SHA grant|
|VA Home Improvements and Structural Alterations||Renovating or making necessary updates to a home||Must have confirmation from VA physician that renovation is necessary|
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Specially Adapted Housing Grant — or a 2101(a) grant — intended for disabled Veterans. The SAH grant offsets the cost of purchasing, renovating or building specially adapted housing.
According to VA requirements, those eligible for this grant are those entitled to or currently receiving VA compensation for what the Department of Veterans Affairs defines as a "permanent and total" service-connected disability.
Every Veteran will need to have their case reviewed individually, but the following conditions often qualify Veterans for SAH grants:
- Loss, or loss of use of both lower extremities
- Blindness in both eyes
- The loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity in addition to lasting effects of natural disease or injury
- The loss or loss of use of both upper extremities
- Severe burn injury
The SAH grant was created to help disabled Veterans purchase a home already adapted for disabled access, but it can also be used to fund additional accessibility modifications.
To apply for an SAH grant, you’ll need your social security card and your VA file or claim number, if you have one. You can apply in person, by mail or online through the VA’s eBenefits website. Learn more on the VA’s website.
Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant
The Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant, also known as the VA 2101(b), is intended for updating or adapting a Veteran’s current home. The SHA grant can also be used to update or change a home currently owned by the disabled Veteran's family where the Veteran intends to live.
Having any of the following service-related conditions can qualify Veterans for the SHA grant:
- The loss or loss of use of both hands
- Certain severe burns
- Certain respiratory or breathing issues
To apply for a SHA grant, you will need your social security card and your VA file or claim number, if you have one. As with the SAH grant, you can apply in person, by mail or online through the VA’s eBenefits website. Learn more on the VA’s website.
Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) Grant
Another grant is the VA Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant, which is open to qualified Veterans who may be eligible for SAH or SHA grants.
The TRA grant was created to assist in modifying a family member's property "to meet the Veteran's or service members special needs" according to the VA.
These grants have a diverse range of applications but the Veteran must first apply for eligibility for the grant before applying for the grant itself. You can apply for the TRA grant through the VA’s eBenefits website. Learn more about the TRA grant on the VA’s website.
VA Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant
Like the other grants, the HISA grant allows Veterans to pay for necessary updates or renovations in their homes.
One major difference from the other grants, however, is that the HISA grant does not have a list of qualifying conditions. The only thing this grant requires is that the Veteran apply for the grant and has confirmation from a VA physician that the renovation is necessary.
To apply for the HISA grant, you can fill out this form from the VA. In addition to listing the necessary home improvements, you will need to provide an outline for the costs of the renovation — including labor and material costs. Learn more about the HISA grant on the VA’s website.