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12 Best Federal Grants for Assisted Living Facility

Federal Grant for Assisted Living Facility

Do you need fund to run your assisted living facility? If YES, here are 9 easy-to-access federal grants for assisted living facilities and how to get them.

An assisted living residence or assisted living facility is a housing facility for people with disabilities or for adults who cannot or choose not to live independently. An assisted living residence is a long-term senior care option that provides personal care support services such as meals, medication management, bathing, dressing and transportation.

The idea of aging in place, that is staying in one’s own home or community for as long as possible — is an increasingly popular one, particularly as the first wave of baby boomers begins to face the expenses of long-term nursing care and increasing retirement costs.

As seniors age, more specialized care needs come to the forefront, and paying for private assisted living is prohibitively expensive for many families that would need assisted living services such as personal care, safety systems, transportation, elevators, meals and housekeeping, for some of their members.

Assisted living care costs can be expensive, but like most things in life, you can usually find less expensive options if you are willing to spend the time looking. The total cost of assisted living care depends on the level of care needed, and the quality of the assisted living facility, but typically, the cost of Assisted Living Facilities nationwide can vary from $2,000 – $5,000 per month.

For someone seeking assistance on how to fund your stay at an assisted living facility, there may be some federal assisted resources and grants that can help you pay for these costs. This article would come in two parts.

First would be outlining federal grant that are available to entrepreneurs and nonprofits that want to set up assisted living facilities. The next section of the article would outline federal grants that are available to citizen that can help them fund their stay at assisted living facilities.

Available Federal Grants for Assisted Living Facilities

This part of the assisted living grant is for entrepreneurs or nonprofits that want to set up assisted living units for the population. People are usually awarded certain grants by the government to help them alleviate the housing needs of senior citizens and the poor.

These grants are used to create these facilities or make repairs within the facility. If you are wondering which grants you can apply for to help you receive funding for your assisted living facility, the information provided below should help.

1. Assisted Living Conversion Program

In the search for viable financing options to meet the ever-increasing demand of senior housing projects, a somewhat unknown program is beginning to get attention, allowing many senior housing project developers, especially in the non-profit space, to exponentially increase their impact on senior housing.

The Assisted Living Conversion Program (ALCP) provides grants to nonprofit owners to convert a portion of their units into an assisted living facility.

The ALCP provides funding for the physical costs of converting some or all of the units of an eligible multifamily development into an ALF or SEH, including unit configuration and related common and service space, and any necessary remodeling, consistent with HUD or the state’s statute/regulations (whichever is more stringent), including compliance with all applicable accessibility laws.

Typical funding will cover basic physical conversion of existing project units, as well as related common and service space.

For Assisted Living Facility conversions, there must be sufficient community space to accommodate a central kitchen or dining facility; if meals are prepared at an off-site location, the preparation area of the facility must be of sufficient size to allow for the installation of a full kitchen.

For both ALF and SEH conversions, there must be community space available to all residents of the project.  The project may charge assisted living or service-enriched residents for meals and/or service fees. Residents may contract with third party agencies directly for nursing, therapy, or other services not offered by the ALF or SEH.

Residents must be offered, but cannot be required to accept, any supportive services. The Assisted Living Conversion Program offers grants to assisted living facilities. However, your facility must have sufficient rooms that accommodate appropriate space for the living, recreation, feeding and office work areas and you must have licenses to operate your facility, which are given by your state.

  • How to Apply

All applicants seeking ALCP funding must provide supportive services for the residents either directly or through a third party. The application must include a firm commitment, letter of support, or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the supportive services offered within the ALF or SEH. You can contact this program by calling 202-708-1112.

2. The Independent Living State Grants Program

The independent Living State Grants Program is offered to states that are in need of creating independent living facilities for taking on more residents or for expanding existing services within assisted living facilities.

The DSU is the State agency designated as the State unit to administer the State’s independent living services program. DSUs in the 50 States and the District of Columbia and the territories (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands) and the outlying areas (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) are eligible to apply.

The State agency must certify the availability of State funds for matching purposes. The match for this program may be cash or in-kind.

  • How to Apply

In order to be eligible for an allotment under this program, States must submit a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) that meets requirements in section 704 of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 C.F.R. Part 364 of the IL program regulations.

State applicants must submit a 3-year State plan which must be submitted not later than July 1, of the fiscal year preceding the first fiscal year of the forthcoming 3-year period.

A notice of annual allotment to the State is issued. Initial distributions are subject to reallotment at the end of the fiscal year if the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration determines that the State will not expend its allotment.

The annual grant award notices and funds may be withdrawn under the Electronic Transfer System. The U.S. Department of Education runs this program where a cover letter will be required along with the grant application.

If you are interested in applying for a grant with this program call 202-245-7336 for more helpful information. Awards are made on an annual basis and may be renewed for up to 2 additional years, for a total of 3 years under an approved State Plan for Independent Living.

3. Multifamily Housing Projects Designated for Occupancy

The Multifamily Housing Projects Designated for Occupancy is managed by the Housing and Urban Development Program, which helps provide grants to assisted living facilities in need of all types of emergency maintenance help in order to stay open.

The amount you could apply for and receive back can be up to $500,000 for your facility, but it must be a licensed facility that provides to the needs of the public. To be eligible, owners must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be in compliance with Loan Agreement, Capital Advance Agreement, Regulatory Agreement, Housing Assistance Payment Contract, Project Rental Assistance Contract, Rent Supplement or LMSA Contract, or any other HUD grant or contract document;
  • Must be in compliance with all fair housing and civil rights laws, statutes, regulations, and executive orders enumerated in 24 CFR 5.105(a)as applicable.

Assistance is limited to those projects with emergency problems that are of such a magnitude that the problem poses an immediate threat to the quality of life of the tenants and the continuation of the existing problem could potentially result in an evacuation of the tenants or long-term tenant displacement unless the repairs are made. The maximum amount an owner may apply for is $500,000.

  • How to Apply

Applicants will submit a complete application, in accordance with requirements of the notice published in the Federal Register. HUD staff will review each application to determine whether the application meets the requirements of the notice.

At the end of the review, all applications will be either recommended for funding or rejected. If an application meets all program eligibility requirements after completion of the review, the local Multifamily Hub Director will forward a recommendation for funding to HUD Headquarters.

Federal Grants That Can Help People Fund Their Stay at Assisted Living Facilities

i. Section 202 Voucher Program

In 1959, HUD established the Section 202 program. Unlike other HUD programs, Section 202 is available exclusively to seniors. HUD provides loans to private and nonprofit organizations to fund supportive housing for seniors with very low incomes.

Rental assistance is available through the Section 202 Voucher Program to help seniors and disabled people live independently with assistance. The applicant must be age 62 or older with an income at or below 50 percent of the area median income.

Residents of Section 202 housing generally are expected to contribute 30 percent of their income toward housing expenses. HUD pays the difference.

ii. Housing Choice Voucher Program

The HUD Housing Choice Vouchers Program is designed to allow people with low incomes the opportunity to live in safe, affordable housing. Through the program, recipients can choose any public or private housing that accepts Housing Choice Vouchers, including assisted living facilities. Public housing authorities run the program.

  • How to Apply

You can contact your local authority to apply. If your PHA does not participate in the program, you can contact another PHA in a different area to apply. Although the voucher pays for assisted living, meals and other services may not be included in the rent. Your expected monthly contribution is 30 percent of your household income.

iii. Medicaid

If you have no savings, financial assets, and your income is low, you may qualify for government assistance or Medicaid, which is a federal program, but administered by each individual state. As of 2013, 44 states cover assisted-living fees under Medicaid.

Instead of using general Medicaid dollars to pay for care, the majority of Medicaid programs use Medicaid waivers for funding. Because of the enrollment caps associated with the waivers, assistance is limited and waiting lists are not uncommon.

Because each state administers its own Medicaid program, coverage and eligibility requirements vary greatly. Medicaid generally will pay for personal services, such as nursing care, and also may cover room and board. Medicaid approval is based on financial need.

You cannot “hide” things from the Medicaid office. There is a 5 year “look back” period where they will go over your financial transactions for the past 5 years and any gifts of money or assets made during that time period are counted as your resources.

If you are caught trying to spend or “hide” your resources, the penalties are strict and you may be disqualified from receiving Medicaid benefits for a long time.

iv. Veterans’ Programs for Assisted Living

There is financial assistance for assisted living for veterans in the form of a pension called the Aid and Attendance Benefit. This program can provide approximately $2,200 per month in assistance. However, eligibility is complicated and there can be extensive wait times for approval.

Details of the program, eligibility requirements and tips for expediting the approval process are available at their website. Veterans who may be eligible for both Medicaid and Aid and Attendance might want to review this comparison of the two programs.

A second option for veterans can be used in independent living communities but not assisted living communities. Veterans’ Directed Care, also called VD-HCBS, give the participating veteran considerable control and latitude with how their care funds are spent.

Under this program, personal care attendants can be paid to provide assistance to veterans residing in independent living.

It is worth noting that the phrase “independent living” means different things in different states.  Here we are referring to a senior living community that does not provide personal care supportive services but may provide recreational activities and group meals.

v. Assisted Living Loans

Assisted living specific loans, when used appropriately, provide families with great flexibility. Assisted living loans are designed for short term financial gaps typically for periods of less than 2 years. They are ideal when families have unexpected assisted living costs and are waiting for other resources to become available.

For example, if an individual is moving into assisted living facility and is waiting for a home to sell and they are uncertain how long that process will take, a loan is a very good option. Another example is when a veteran has applied for the Aid & Attendance benefit.

The approval process can be lengthy but once approved, the benefits are paid retroactively to their application date in a lump sum. The lump sum is then used to pay off the assisted living loan.

vi. Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8)

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) provides rent vouchers for housing in the private market to low income individuals, families, the elderly and the disabled. It is the largest assisted housing program administered by HUD.

These vouchers are linked to specific properties run by local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). There are two kinds of vouchers: tenant-based and project-based. Tenant based vouchers (TBVs) move with the renter. Project based vouchers (PBVs) are assigned to particular units and buildings and are not transferable.

There is no age requirement. Families or individuals who meet the extremely low-income requirements (30% of the area’s median), and very low income (50% of area median) based on total gross income are eligible. In some cases, those with low income (80% of area median) are eligible.

Income such as pensions, retirement accounts, IRAs, insurance annuities, and assets such as real estate, cars, etc. are counted when assessing eligibility.

  • Housing

Depending on your location, housing options can include single-family homes, townhouses and even apartments. Individuals can pick anywhere they want to live as long as the owner agrees to rent using the program’s guidelines.

  • Rent Amounts

Rental amount is calculated by using the greatest of:

  • 30% of monthly adjusted income
  • 10% of monthly income
  • The welfare rent in as-paid states
  • Or the PHA minimum rent ($25 or up to $50).

PHAs pay the property owner directly and the residents pay the difference to the property owner.

  • How to Apply

You can apply at your local PHA. They will collect information on family income (tax returns, bank statements, Social Security, etc.) assets, and family composition. Medical expenses, health insurance payments, prescriptions and future medical expenses are taken into consideration.

Once you apply, you are placed on a waiting list. Because of the demand, waiting lists are often several years long. Ask your application to be pre-qualified for income—that way you know ahead of time if you qualify. And ask about local preferences (e.g. you are involuntarily displaced, paying more than 50% rent, etc.).

vii. Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly

The rent-assisted housing in this program is designed specifically for seniors and the disabled to live as independently as possible but who may need some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing and bathing. Common features of these communities include housekeeping, transportation, referral services, and counseling.

The types of services and amenities will vary by senior housing community.

Established by HUD in 1959, the Section 202 program is the only program within HUD to provide housing exclusively to seniors. HUD provides loans to private, nonprofit organizations to finance the construction of supportive housing for very low-income seniors and provides rent subsidies.

To be eligible, you have to be from 62 years and older with very low household income (50% of area median). The average resident age is 79. The average yearly income is $10,018.

Type of Housing for Seniors

Typically, one-bedroom apartments with kitchen and bath, plus special features such as grab bars, ramps, nonskid flooring, etc. Other features include housekeeping, transportation to healthcare, home-delivered meals.

Rent Amount

Rental amount is calculated by using the greatest of:

  • 30% of monthly adjusted income
  • 10% of monthly income
  • The welfare rent in as-paid states
  • Or the PHA minimum rent ($25 or up to $50).
  • How to Apply

Contact the individual housing community you are interested in. Wait lists are usually at least a year. Preferences for admission include those currently paying 50% of their income in rent; the involuntarily displaced; and those living in substandard housing.

viii. Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program (Section 811)

The purpose of this program is to enable those with disabilities to live as independently as possible in a housing environment that provides supportive services. Services may include personal assistance; meals; housekeeping; counseling; training in independent living skills; recreation and transportation.

HUD awards funds to private non-profit organizations to be used to finance the construction or rehabilitation of supportive housing for persons with disabilities. There are two types of funding programs: 1) projects funded by capital advances and 2) those funded by Project Rental Assistance.

Those who are 18 and older who are physically, mentally, emotionally and/or developmentally disabled are eligible for this program. Households must be very low-income (50% of median income) with at least one adult member with a disability.

The Project Rental Assistance Program residents must be extremely low-income (30% of median income) with at least one adult member with a disability. Median household income for residents is $9,204.


Group homes of eight or fewer units are single family structures that combine multiple bedrooms with a kitchen and shared living area. There is at least one bathroom for every four residents.

Condominium or cooperative units are independent living facilities that can be cooperatively owned by residents. Independent living complexes consist of 16 or fewer units where each dwelling contains a kitchen and bathroom. This housing may also contain congregate dining, laundry, and community areas.

  • How to Apply

You can find out more on this program and the available properties by contacting your local HUD office.

ix. Subsidized Housing

The united states Department of Housing and Urban Development makes it possible for apartment owners to offer affordable housing to people who fall below certain income limits. Through the rent subsidy program, HUD offers incentives for apartment owners who offer reduced rental rates.

Local public housing authorities set the income requirements and eligibility guidelines. Although you can search for subsidized apartments on the HUD website, you must contact the apartment complex directly to apply.  In 2012, HUD established the Assisted Living Conversion Program, which awarded $26 million in grant funding to convert existing apartments into affordable assisted-living apartments for seniors.