Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – everything you need to know

This program aims at supplying financial help for low income families to keep their homes safe and fit to live in during the harsh winter seasons. When the hot, brutal temperature of summer gives way to a colder season, people start off elated for the much needed change, however -as we quickly discover, winters can be quite brutal too.  Traditionally it’s in the winter season that you’ll need the heat the most and it’s also when you will notice leaks from gaps in the walls and windows.

Those simple leaks tend to be ignored often but they are the major cause of unnecessary heat expenditure and costly heating bills. A new window can save you hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars in heating costs. Perhaps this is something you’re already somewhat familiar with and therefore your primary concern is the cost of fixing your house leaks.  If so, keep reading.

Low income families who are in need of assistance of home repair can apply to a program by the federal government that caters primarily to low income individuals, called the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). For personal or rented homes, low income families can receive help through WAP for minor and major home repairs. The program is free of charge but you will have meet certain preliminary requirements. The free upgrades and home repairs you can receive from the program is completely worth it though.

Types of Repairs You May Need

The major areas to fix you want to fix first are doors and windows. Leaks are more likely to come through these areas than through the walls.

Some old houses might have old windows that require water resistant treatment around the edges. Old windows like single pane windows are terrible at keeping cold or hot air out and instead keep cold and hot air in.  Double or triple pane windows are more functional because of the added layers. True, they’re also more expensive but definitely worth the investment. The WAP typically focus on patching your windows but they will replace them if it’s deemed absolutely necessary.

In older homes where the doors have been used an unfathomable amount of times, the doors tend to go off center and begin to leak at the edges. Cold and hot air can easily enter trough the spaces left open by misalignment. WAP can realign the doors or replace them if it’s necessary.

Other Weatherization Services Offered Through WAP

The WAP funds are managed on a state level through federal funds.  Additional improvements besides doors and windows are also readily available:

  • Weather stripping
  • Repairs of HVAC systems
  • Covering holes and cracks in roofs and walls
  • Repairs of water heaters
  • Addition of or upgrade of insulation

The main goal of the program is to see to it that renters and home owners have a safe home that is energy efficient and fit to live in.

Weatherization Assistance Program Details And How to Apply

Even thought the WAP is managed on a state level, it is a part of the Department of Energy. Interested individuals and families can apply through the programs made available in their respective states. Different benchmarks for acceptance are set as well as program restrictions.

If you already receive assistance from Aid of Families with Dependent Children or Supplemental Security Income, you are already qualified for the WAP. Because of this you will not be denied services when you apply for WAP. If your family contains individuals at or over the age of 60, if you have a disabled family member or if you have children, your application will be given primary consideration.

The program is aimed at energy efficiency not home remodeling, so there is a limit of funds that will be spent. In general, repair costs per family will not exceed $6,500. This is an average number though so it’s possible that more or less will be spent on your home repairs. The amount of people in your household will determine how much will be spent.

Size of household* Maximum income level per year*
1 $23,760
2 $32,040
3 $40,320
4 $48,600
5 $56,880
6 $65,160
7 $73,460
8 $81,780

People with over 8 members of their household will include $8,320 for each added member of the household.

WAP will save you good money and increase the value of your home at no additional cost or taxes to you or your family. If you are looking for ways to save money, this is a good option if you are a tenant or if you own your own home.

Take the Next Step:

To apply for federal assistance in  home repair, click HERE.