Specially Adapted Housing Grants

Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans (2018)  

VA provides grants to Servicemembers and Veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to help purchase or construct an adapted home, or modify an existing home to accommodate a disability. Two grant programs exist: the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant, and if applicable each can be utilized via the Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant.

I. Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant $81,080.00

SAH grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment. SAH grants can be used in one of the following ways:

  • Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
  • Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
  • Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing
  • Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant

Eligibility

  • Loss of or loss of use of both legs, OR
  • Loss of or loss of use of both arms, OR
  • Blindness in both eyes having only light perception, plus loss of or loss of use of one leg, OR
  • The loss of or loss of use of one lower leg together with residuals of organic disease or injury, OR
  • The loss of or loss of use of one leg together with the loss of or loss of use of one arm, OR
  • Certain severe burns, OR
  • The loss, or loss of use of one or more lower extremities due to service on or after September 11, 2001, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair *

Living Situation/Ownership

  • Permanent Home is owned by an eligible individual

Number of Grants You Can Use

  • Maximum of 3 grants, up to the maximum dollar amount allowable

* This eligibility criteria is limited to 30 recipients per fiscal year (FY).

II. Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant $16,217.00

SHA grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a home to accommodate the disability. You can use SHA grants in one of the following ways:

  • Adapt an existing home the Veteran or a family member already owns in which the Veteran lives
  • Adapt a home the Veteran or family member intends to purchase in which the Veteran will live
  • Help a Veteran purchase a home already adapted in which the Veteran will live

Eligibility

If you are a Servicemember or Veteran with a permanent and total service-connected disability, you may be entitled to a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. The information below provides an overview of VA’s housing grant programs for Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities:

  • Blindness in both eyes with 20/200 visual acuity or less, OR
  • Loss of or loss of use of both hands, OR
  • Certain severe burn injuries, OR
  • Certain severe respiratory injuries

Living Situation/Ownership

  • Permanent Home is owned by an eligible individual or family member

Number of Grants You Can Use

  • Maximum of 3 grants, up to the maximum dollar amount allowable

 III. Temporary Residence Adaptation Grant (TRA)

$16,217- $6,355

The TRA grant is available to help SAH or SHA eligible Veterans who are, or will be, temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. The qualifying disabilities for the TRA grant are the same as for SAH and SHA. In other words, a Veteran must be eligible for SAH or SHA in order to be eligible for TRA grant use. For TRA purposes, a family member is defined as a person related to the Veteran by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Those eligible for an $81,080 grant would be permitted to use up to $35,553 and those eligible for a $16,217 grant would be permitted to use up to $6,355. Grant amounts are adjusted Oct.1 every year based on a cost-of-construction index. These adjustments will increase the grant amounts or leave them unchanged; grant amounts will not decrease. Under the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, TRA grant amounts do not count against SAH grant maximum amounts starting Aug. 6, 2013.

The property may be located outside the United States, in a country or political subdivision which allows individuals to have or acquire a beneficial property interest, and in which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in his or her discretion, has determined that it is reason­ably practicable for the Secretary to provide assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing.

IV. SAH, SHA & TRA Benefit Amounts

The SAH and SHA benefit amount is set by law, but may be adjusted upward annually based on a cost-of-construction index. The maximum dollar amount allowable for SAH grants in fiscal year 2018 is $81,080. The maximum dollar amount allowable for SHA grant in fiscal year 2018 is $16,217. No individual may use the grant benefit more than three times up to the maximum dollar amount allowable.

A temporary grant may be available to SAH/SHA eligible Veterans and Servicemembers who are or will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. The maximum amount available to adapt a family member’s home for the SAH grant is $35,553 and for the SHA grant is $6,355.

V. How to Apply

To apply for a grant, fill out and submit VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant. You can access this form by:

  • Applying online via www.ebenefits.va.gov
  • Downloading VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant and mailing it to your nearest Regional Loan Center
  • Calling VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 to have a claim form mailed to you
  • Visiting the nearest VA regional office. Find the office nearest you by visiting VA Regional Office Locations or calling VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000

Need more information or have questions? Contact a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) staff member via email at [email protected] or by phone at (877) 827-3702.

Video Spotlight:

Betty Rhoades, Chief, Specially Adapted Housing 

Betty Rhoades, Specially Adapted Housing Expanded Eligibility 

Comprehensive Handbook for Contractors and Builders:

Specially Adapted Housing – Handbook for Design