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Specially Adapted Housing For Disabled Veterans

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Specially Adapted Housing For Disabled Veterans


Federal Agency




Public Laws 80-702, 96-385, 105-178, and 109-233; 38 U.S.C. 2101-2106.






To help certain severely disabled veterans acquire a home which is suitably adapted to meet the special needs of their disabilities.


Types of Assistance

Direct Payments for Specified Use.


Uses and Use Restrictions

a. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program provides 50 percent of the cost to the veteran of the adapted house, land, and allowable expenses, not to exceed a maximum grant of $50,000. The money may be used to help (1) construct a suitable home on suitable land either already owned or to be acquired by the veteran, or (2) remodel an existing home if it can be suitably adapted, or (3) acquire a suitably adapted home or reduce the outstanding mortgage on a suitably adapted home already owned by the veteran. In computing the amount of the grant, the costs may include incidental expenses such as connections to public facilities and customary fees for the services of an attorney, architect, loan closing, etc. There are restrictions on the use of a grant; if a loan is necessary to supplement the grant, monthly loan payments and the cost of maintaining the property must bear a proper relation to the veteran's present and anticipated income. The housing unit must also be suitable for the veteran's special needs, and the veteran must acquire acceptable title to the property. b. The Special Housing Adaptations (SHA) program provides the actual cost to the veteran of certain adaptations and/or equipment, not to exceed a maximum grant of $10,000. The home to be adapted must be owned by the veteran or by a member of the veteran's family, and the veteran must intend to continue residing there. c. The Temporary Residence Adaptations (TRA) program provides adaptation assistance to veterans who are residing, but do not intend to permanently reside, in the a residence owned by a family member. If a veteran is otherwise eligible for SAH, the assistance is limited to $14,000. If a veteran is otherwise eligible for SHA, the assistance is limited to $2,000. d. SAH and SHA grants may be used up to three times, as long as the aggregate grant amount does not exceed the statutory dollar limitation. TRA grants may only be used once (and count as a grant usage for purposes of the limit of three), and the amount of assistance provided will be subtracted from the veteran's available statutory maximum.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For a SAH grant, veterans are eligible if they are entitled to compensation under chapter 11 for a permanent, total, and service-connected disability due to: (1) loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, canes, crutches, or a wheelchair; (2) blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity; (3) loss or loss of use of one lower extremity, together with residuals of organic disease or injury, or the loss or loss of use of one upper extremity, which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair; or (4) loss or loss of use, of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbows. It must be medically feasible for the veteran to reside in the particular home involved. For a SHA grant, veterans are eligible if they are entitled to compensation under chapter 11 for a permanent and total service-connected disability that (1) is due to blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less, or (2) includes the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Permanently and totally disabled veterans.




Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Initial application for determination of basic eligibility may be made on VA Form 26-4555 to the VA regional office holding the veteran's claim folder. After eligibility is determined, a VA employee will personally assist the veteran throughout subsequent processing, including advice on a suitable house plan and lot, adaptive features, location of a qualified architect and builder, and submission of the documents necessary for final grant approval.

Award Procedure

The VA Regional Office releases the grant proceeds after conditions of the contract and grant approval are fulfilled.



Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Initial interview completed within 40 days of determination of eligibility. Grant approval timeline varies and is dependent upon veteran's desires to move forward with securing contractors and drafting construction plans.


Denial of eligibility is appealable through the Board of Veterans' Appeals. In the event of a denial, claimants are advised of appeal rights and procedures at the time of notification.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

For a SAH grant, VA provides 50 percent of the cost to the veteran of the housing unit, land, fixtures and allowable expenses, not to exceed a maximum grant of $50,000. For a SHA grant, VA provides the lesser of (1) the actual cost of adaptations, or (2) $10,000.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Usually, if a veteran already owns a suitable house, the grant is released in lump sum. In remodeling and construction cases, the grant is released by specified construction completion phases approved by VA.


Post Assistance Requirements








Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct Payments) FY 07 $27,764,000; FY 08 est $35,910,000; and FY 09 est $35,910,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

SAH: For the housing unit, land, fixtures, and allowable expenses, up to $50,000. SHA: For adaptations to the veteran's residence, up to $10,000.


Program Accomplishments

In FY 07, 805 grants were made to disabled veterans. In both FY 08 and FY 09, 811 expected to be made to disabled veterans. Output for FY 08 is expected to be 620.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

38 CFR 3.809, 36.4400-36.4411, and title 38, United State Code, chapter 21; "Questions and Answers on Specially Adapted Housing for Veterans," VA Pamphlet 26-69-1, no charge; "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-0-01, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is 051-000-00233-4. "Handbook for Design, Specially Adapted Housing," VA Pamphlet 26-13, available to eligible veterans.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Applicants should communicate with the nearest VA Regional Office. Case development and assistance will be provided by the VA office with jurisdiction over the location of the property involved. See Appendix IV of the Catalog for addresses of these offices listed under Department of Veterans Affairs. Information may be obtained from the nearest Regional Office by calling toll free 1-800- 827-1000.

Headquarters Office

Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9500.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

64.103, Life Insurance For Veterans
64.114, Veterans Housing-Guaranteed And Insured Loans
64.118, Veterans Housing-Direct Loans For Certain Disabled Veterans
64.119, Veterans Housing-Manufactured Home Loans


Examples of Funded Projects



Criteria for Selecting Proposals



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