Roof Repair Solutions For The Broke: Lack Of Money Doesn't Have To Mean Leaky Roof

Does your roof need attention but you lack the funds to do anything about it? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Many people live in homes that need repairs. The National Center for Healthy Housing actually examined housing conditions directly related to health problems. Out of the top six most common issues that go unresolved each year, roofing problems were number four. Most homeowners are aware that certain things like leaky roofs can cause water damage and mold growth when left to fester. But what do you do when you simply can't afford to fix the leak? And how do you handle the additional stressor like a homeowner's association requesting you to replace your outdated roof? Relax. Here are several solutions that can get your roof back in tip-top shape even if you don't have the dough.

Loans and Grants

If you don't have a lot of money, there are a number of local agencies ready and willing to help out with a loan. According to this article at USNews, there are more than 200 non-profits in 4,500 different communities across the country, so it's just a matter of finding one close to you. The good thing about these organizations is that they're set up to help people just like you who are in need. In other words, they're not passing out loans to those looking to do a few updates or improve their home's esthetic value. If there's an actual leak or some other issue that you can't afford to repair, you've got a good shot at getting the help you need. This is great for those who don't qualify for a traditional loan from a private, for-profit financial institution. 

Some organizations are specifically designed to offer assistance to those who live at or below poverty level and are in dangerous housing conditions. While not everyone's story has to tug at the heartstrings of America, you do have to meet certain financial criteria in order to qualify for assistance. For example, if your roof is sagging, you're disabled, and you have a family that depends on you, chances are pretty good you can qualify to have the repairs done without spending any money.

If you live in a rural area with a population of 10,000 or less, you can reach out to the US Department of Agriculture. They offer very low-income housing loans to those who are eligible. There are several great benefits to this program. First, they will loan to those who need repairs as well as those who wish to perform some updating. They also provide loans for roofing weatherization. Weatherizing your roof against the damaging effects of the sun, wind, and sleet or snow is a great way to modernize your home and improve energy efficiency. Second, if you're 62 years of age or older, you may be able to skip the loan and go straight for the grants that are available.

Dealing with an HOA

If you're dealing with a homeowner's association that is giving you a hard time about replacing or repairing your roof, it can feel like a double whammy. While they do have rights under the law, don't forget that you do too. If they're requesting you to do something that you feel is unnecessary, and you want to fight their recommendations, you need to know if you have a leg to stand on.

The first thing to do is to communicate with your HOA. Let them know that you're in a financial bind and need time to assess the situation and get estimates for repairs. Then ask for an extension. This will give you time to find out what you're obligated to do and uncover some resources that can help.

If you have the funds for a roof inspection, this may help, as sometimes a contractor's recommendations will outweigh the demands of the homeowner's association. Suppose that you have a few damaged or unsightly shingles, and the homeowner's association wants you to replace the entire roof. A roofing contractor may be able to replace the damaged shingles instead.

In these situations, the worst thing you can do is ignore their demands. Communicate with them and let them know you are willing to do everything within your power to make the necessary repairs and make sure the roof looks as good as new. Attend meetings, click for more info, and show them written recommendations that have been made by the roofer so they can see that you are doing everything you can.

Unusual Circumstances

It may seem like a long shot, but some of you will fall into the "unusual circumstances" category. For instance, some cities offer lotteries for needed home repairs. The city of East Moline, Illinois has offered funding to 20 residents in the form of a forgivable loan. For this particular lottery, there are no limitations on what sort of home improvement is done, but applicants do have to meet income eligibility requirements. 

Other Resources For Assistance

Don't let roofing problems and lack of money keep you from getting the repairs you need. Look at all available options, and be sure to contact your local Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and non-profit housing organizations in your hometown. Speak with a roofer before making the worst of assumptions. Some of them may be able to arrange payments, particularly if you've been living in your home for a while and can demonstrate the ability to pay monthly.