What are SAH Grants? Mortgage Terms Explained

by Jessica Brita-Segyde

SAH stands for “Specially Adapted Housing.” SAH grants are offered by the United States Veterans’ Affairs Administration (VA) to certain eligible home buyers and/or homeowners. SAH grants are included in a larger category called Disability Housing Grants. To be considered eligible for an SAH grant, the veteran applicant must have a documented, service-related disability from the qualified list published by the VA. The veteran applicant and must also own the home or purchase the home that is to be adapted.

A note regarding non-owner occupants: Veterans who live in a home owned by a family member could qualify for a smaller grant called a Special Home Adaptation (SHA). Details on this type of grant are available at https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/.

What can the grant funds be used for?

SAH grant funds are intended for the build, purchase, remodel, or improvement of a home suitable to the veteran borrower’s service-connected disability.

How much money can one applicant receive?

The VA sets a yearly maximum on the amount of grant funds that an individual applicant may be eligible to receive. The maximum in 2020 is $90,364.

Does the VA determine which disabilities qualify?

Yes. Service-connected disabilities eligible for consideration under the SAH Grant program are published at https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/. Eligible at the time of this publication are as follows :

  • The loss or loss of use of more than one limb
  • The loss or loss of use of a lower leg along with the residuals (lasting effects) of an organic (natural) disease or injury
  • Blindness in both eyes (having only light perception) along with the loss or loss of use of a leg
  • Certain severe burns
  • The loss or loss of use of one lower extremity (foot or leg) after September 11, 2001, causing the inability to balance or walk without the help of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair.

How does the application process work?

Veterans may apply online through the VA’s eBenefits website or by calling 1-877-827-3702. Pen-and-paper applications are available at VA regional offices or online at https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/how-to-apply/.

If you plan to apply for an SAH grant in conjunction with the purchase of a home, call your loan officer or find one in your area. Be sure to ask if the organization you plan to work with offers VA loans and whether your loan officer has experience with disability housing grants.

And if you are a veteran of the United States military, thank you for all that you have sacrificed to serve our country.

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