The Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Grants Program provides loans and grants to very low-income homeowners to repair or improve their homes or to remove health or safety hazards. Applicants must be 62 years of age or older and must have incomes below 50% of the area median. That can be up to $27,000 for seniors in Maryland, which includes most seniors I know. For more information or to apply contact the USDA Rural Development office
Several states and more and more local organizations and even non-profits provide money for renters with grants or loans that can be used for security deposits. Programs constantly come and go but the state of Delaware has provided grants to nonprofit agencies to administer 2 security deposit programs. Two counties in Florida provide grants to cover deposits for people at certain incomes, and New Hampshire guarantees landlords the full amount so the renter can make payments on a security deposit. This information was collected from NLIHC, 1012 Fourteenth Street NW, Suite 610, Washington, D.C. 20005, 202/662-1530. To locate available programs in your area contact your state housing office or social services office, or your local reference librarian who can assist you in finding other organizations who might provide this assistance.
Called the Section 245 Graduated Payment Mortgage Program and referred to as Program #14.159 in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, this program helps early home ownership for households that expect their incomes to rise. The program allows homeowners to make smaller monthly payments initially and to increase their size gradually over time. Contact your local office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Look on the left-hand side of the page to search for your local field office.