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Emergency Repair (ERP) Program

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), upon approval of its Board of Directors, allocates $2 million annually for the Emergency Repair Program for the Elderly. The program provides grants to low income, elderly homeowners who are 60 years or older to correct, repair, or replace an essential system and/or a critical structural problem. The purpose of the program is to stabilize the elderly homeowner’s residence by making rapid, essential repairs to make the home livable. This is not a comprehensive homeowner rehabilitation program.

Allocation of Funds
The Emergency Repair Program is administered through Tennessee’s Development Districts or Human Resource Agencies to help ensure that the program is available state-wide. The program operates on a two-year contract with each administering agency receiving a total allocation of $222,222: $200,000 for emergency repairs and $22,222 for administration.

Program Requirements

Homeowner Eligibility
Applicants must meet all of the following requirements:
  • The applicant must be at least 60 years of age and must occupy the property to be repaired as her/her principal residence.
  • The applicant must have an ownership interest in the property to be repaired.
  • If the property to be repaired is a manufactured housing unit, it is not necessary for the elderly homeowner to own the manufactured unit and the land on which it sits; the elderly homeowner must, however, have title to the manufactured unit.
  • The household income must be at or below 60% of area median income as defined by the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.(See Attachment I: Income Determination and 2010 Income Limits.)

Subsidy Level
The maximum grant to an eligible homeowner from THDA funds is $10,000. Since the program requires a 50% match of the THDA funds from another source, the maximum contract amount cannot exceed $15,000 ($10,000 from THDA and $5,000 as the 50% match). The assistance the program beneficiaries receive will be in the form of a grant. The Emergency Repair Program will not require a compliance period secured by a lien on the property.

Property Standards
The Emergency Repair Program is intended to make immediate repairs to an essential system so that the elderly homeowner can continue to reside in his/her home. The program does not require that the entire structure be brought into compliance with codes. The following list is an example of the types of repairs the program is meant to address:
  • Roofs
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Septic systems
  • Heating and air systems
  • Structural repairs to floors or walls

It is anticipated that the elderly homeowner will help define the nature of the emergency repair. In many instances, there will be additional work that needs to be done to the house that cannot be addressed with this program, and there may not be a visible difference in the house once the emergency repairs have been completed.

Since the program is not bringing the house into full compliance with codes, the staff of the Districts should be able to complete any necessary inspections. If the nature of the repairs requires additional expertise, THDA will allow as a project soft cost an inspection fee of $500 or 10% of the repair costs not to exceed $1,000.

Contractor Qualifications
The emergency repairs must be done by a contractor appropriately licensed for the type of repair work being performed. The Development Districts will provide homeowners a choice of qualified contractors from their existing approved contractor list, and the homeowners will contact the contractors for cost estimates. The Districts will review the cost estimates with the homeowners to select a contractor to do the work. In addition to cost, the ability to respond rapidly to the emergency situation and past performance can be determining factors in contractor selection.

Request for Payment
The Development District will submit a draw request to THDA for payment. The draw request must include:
  • Emergency Repair Program Request for Payment Form;
  • A copy of the contract between the homeowner and the contractor;
  • A copy of the specification for the work to be done; and
  • A Certification that the work has been inspected and has been completed in accordance with the specifications, and that there are no unpaid claims for materials, supplies or equipment, and no claims of laborers or mechanics for unpaid wages in connection with the performance of the contract.

THDA will require 14 days from the time it receives a complete pay request to forward the funds to the Development District for payment to the contractor.


There is a 50% match requirement for the THDA funds used for the emergency repairs. The matching funds can be provided by:
  • The homeowner or the homeowner's family;
  • Federal sources such as USDA Rural Development or the Weatherization Program;
  • Church groups or local agencies;
  • Donated labor and/or materials; or
  • A funding pool or grants from local lender(s) to the Development District.

THDA also operates a Rural Repair Program in partnership with USDA Rural Development under its 504 Repair Program. The THDA/USDA Rural Repair Program and the Emergency Repair Program cannot not be used on the same unit to qualify as match.


Working with THDA’s Division of Public Affairs, each Development District will be required to implement a marketing plan to highlight the assistance provided by the Emergency Repair Program. The marketing plan can also be used to solicit participation in the repair program by area contractors.

For more information, you may contact Community Programs at 615-815-2030.