A local government can provide various types of assistance with home improvements. It will have its own rules regarding the types of assistance it will provide and the conditions you must meet in order to qualify for assistance.
These rules cannot discriminate against you because of your age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, according to the law. Furthermore, a local government may have policies that prohibit other types of discrimination, such as discrimination against older people.
Contact your local authority to find out if you can get help with home improvements and what assistance is available in your area. Your local government can assist you with one of the following:
- modify, enhance, or repair your home This could be in the form of a grant or loan. It could be by providing labor, tools, or low-cost materials to assist you with the work. It could be by providing contact information for builders who can complete the work, or by offering free or low-cost surveys or advice on how to carry out repairs.
- purchase a new home if it determines that this is a better way of improving your living conditions than repairing your current home The assistance could take the form of a grant or loan.
- If it has decided to purchase your current home, you should consider purchasing a new home. The assistance could take the form of a grant or loan.
- If your previous home has been demolished, demolish it or build a new one for you. The assistance could take the form of a grant or loan.
If you or someone you live with is disabled, you may be eligible for a disabled facilities grant to help with adaptations or providing facilities for the disabled person.
Your local government can assist in the improvement of a building, a portion of a building, a caravan, or a boat as long as the property is your home or is available for you to live in as your home.
Forms of application
A local government may have its own application forms and rules regarding how to apply for assistance. For more information, contact your local government.
If you are disabled, a local government must provide application forms in a format that you can use, such as large print.
Your rights if you apply for home improvement assistance
Your local government will have its own set of rules regarding the conditions you must meet in order to receive assistance. For example, its rules may state that you are not eligible for a grant if your savings exceed a certain amount. Although your local government may have its own rules, there are certain things that it must or must not do when providing home improvement assistance. Your local government must have rules regarding home improvement assistance, but those rules cannot be completely rigid or unreasonable. It cannot, for example, state that it will never make grants, and it must consider your individual circumstances if you apply for assistance. Furthermore, the rules must not discriminate against you based on your age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender, or sexual orientation.
When you apply for home improvement assistance, your local government must do the following:
- ensure that a copy of its rules, including the types of assistance it offers, is available for free inspection at its main office. It must also ensure that you can receive a summary of the rules by mail, though this may be charged.
- When you ask for assistance, make sure it follows its own rules.
- provide you with written information about the terms and conditions under which it will assist you before it assists you
- If it helps, make sure you've gotten the right advice and information about any responsibilities you'll have. For example, if you will have to pay for some of the repairs yourself, your local authority must ensure that you have received appropriate advice and information.
- Before you have to pay anything, consider your ability to pay for any assistance that is provided to you. For example, it should not offer you a loan if you cannot afford to repay it, and if it offers you a grant but expects you to contribute money to it, it must consider your ability to do so.
- If you own a home, get your permission before doing any work on it.
- Obtain the consent of everyone who will be affected if it decides to change the work it has agreed to assist with. For example, if it agrees to install gas central heating but later decides to switch to electric central heating, it must do so.
- obtain your permission before changing any of the conditions you must meet in order to receive assistance For example, if it offers you a grant on the condition that you pay £500 toward the cost of repairs and then wants to increase this amount to £1000, it must first obtain your permission.
If you rent out your house,
If you rent your home and apply to your local government for assistance with home improvements, you must first obtain permission from your landlord before the government will agree to assist you. If you're disabled and the changes are related to your disability, your landlord should not refuse permission unless they have a compelling reason to do so. In some cases, your landlord may be in charge of making the changes.
Learn more about requesting reasonable accommodations from your landlord.
If your home requires repairs, your landlord may be required to make the necessary repairs.
See Repairs in rented housing for more information on your landlord's responsibility to make repairs.
Grant and loan payments
In general, a local government is not required to pay a grant or loan within a specific time frame. However, if your local government's rules specify a time limit, it must pay you within that time frame.
If you own a home,
If you took out a loan to improve your home, you may be eligible for a government loan to help with interest payments. This is known as'support for mortgage interest (SMI).'
You may have SMI if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- The Universal Credit system
- Pension Benefit
- Jobseeker's Allowance based on income
- Employment and Support Allowance based on income
- Income Assistance
You should also double-check that the improvements you're making are covered by SMI. They'll be covered if you have to make improvements to make your home habitable, and you're:
- repairing your heating system, such as replacing a broken boiler
- installing something to prepare and cook food, such as a stove or oven
- installing a bath, shower, washbasin, sink, or toilet
- putting in electrical outlets or lights
- constructing a fuel or garbage storage facility
- putting in drainage
- repairing a dangerous structure, such as your roof
- insulating or damp-proofing your home
- providing natural light or fresh air
- modifying your home to accommodate a disabled person
- Separate bedrooms for a boy and a girl aged 10 to 19 if they live with you and you or your partner are responsible for them.
You must repay the SMI loan, but usually only when you sell or give your home to someone else. Find out if you are eligible for SMI and what you should consider before applying.
Grants for disabled facilities
A disabled facilities grant is a grant that you can obtain from your local government for work that is necessary to assist a disabled person in living an independent life. You can, for example, apply for a disabled facilities grant for the following:
- making it easier to enter and exit your home, such as by widening doors or installing ramps
- Making it easier to access a living room, bedroom, toilet, bathroom, or kitchen by installing a stairlift or providing a downstairs bathroom, for example.
- making access to your garden easier or safer
- providing adequate restroom or kitchen facilities
- installing or enhancing a heating system
- ensuring your safety, for example, by providing a specially adapted room in which you could be left alone, or by improving lighting for better visibility
- assisting you in getting around at home so that you can care for someone who lives with you and requires care
If you meet the eligibility requirements, your local government must provide you with a disabled facilities grant.
Applying for a grant for disabled facilities
Owners, landlords, tenants, licensees, and occupiers of some houseboats and park homes are eligible to apply for a disabled facilities grant if the work is for the benefit of a disabled person who lives or will live in the property.
To apply for a disabled facilities grant, you must complete a form available from your local government. They may request additional information and/or tests before you submit a formal application. You may also need permission for building regulations, planning, listed buildings, or conservation areas.
Your local government may have a list of local architects, surveyors, and builders who specialize in renovation work that you can consult when selecting a contractor for work on your home. If you plan to do the work yourself, you will not be able to claim the cost of your labor.
Once you have applied for a grant, your local authority must notify you in writing of its decision as soon as possible and no later than six months after you applied.
Eligibility for a grant for disabled facilities
A disabled facilities grant is only available if the work you need done on your home is as follows:
- required and appropriate to meet your requirements Normally, your local government will consult with an occupational therapist to determine whether or not you require the work; and
- reasonable and practical, given the age and condition of your home For example, if your home requires extensive repairs, it may not be feasible to complete the work.
If you live in rented accommodation and apply for a disabled facilities grant for work on a communal area of the property where you live, you must ensure that you are responsible for carrying out the work. You will not be able to get a grant if your landlord is responsible for doing the work. Instead, your landlord may be able to apply for a grant.
How much money will you receive?
A disabled facilities grant in England will be no more than £30,000 and £36,000 in Wales. However, your local government can supplement this by providing other home improvement assistance (see Help with home improvements). The amount of grant you receive is determined by your income and savings, unless the work is to meet the needs of a disabled person under the age of 16, or in some cases, over the age of 16 but under the age of 19.
Obtaining a disabled facilities grant if you live in rented housing
If you rent your home and apply to your local authority for a disabled facilities grant, you must first obtain permission from your landlord before your local authority will agree to assist you. However, your landlord must not refuse permission unless there is a compelling reason. If you need to make changes to your home due to your disability, your landlord should agree unless they have a good reason not to. If your landlord does not agree, they may be engaging in disability discrimination and breaking the law. This rule does not apply in some cases, such as when the landlord lives in the same house as you.
If you require changes to your home due to a disability, your landlord may be responsible for making them. This rule does not apply in some cases, such as when the landlord lives in the same house as you.
See Discrimination in housing for more information on a landlord's duty to make alterations for disabled people.
If your home requires repairs, your landlord may be obligated to make them.
See Repairs in rented housing for more information on a landlord's responsibility to make repairs.
Schemes for improving home energy efficiency
There are several energy efficiency programs and grants available. The main scheme is a government-provided home energy efficiency scheme known as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Ofgem has more information about the Energy Company Obligation.
On GOV.UK, you may also be able to find local grants to assist with things like home insulation.
Home improvement companies
Home improvement agencies (HIAs) are non-profit organizations that are run by housing associations, local governments, and charities. They can assist people who own their own homes or live in privately rented housing and are elderly, disabled, or on a low income in repairing, maintaining, or adapting their home.
An HIA, for instance, can:
- Make arrangements for your home to be repaired.
- assist you in obtaining funding for your home's repairs
- give you advice on a variety of issues affecting your living conditions
- arrange for the installation of small aids and adaptations to allow you to live independently in your home
- Install home security measures such as door and window locks, door chains, and viewers.
Foundations can provide you with more information about organizations in your area.
Obtaining additional assistance
If you need more information on home improvements, you can contact your local Citizens Advice.
Support for Coping with the Passing of Your Feline CompanionLosing a beloved pet can bring about immense emotions of grief and uncertainty. When dealing with the passing of your feline friend, you may be unsure of what steps to take next. To assist you during this challenging time, we provide advice and
Opt for a Scientifically-Proven Learning MethodSome subjects can be mastered independently to attain an A or A* grade. Fortunately, Biology is one of them! There is a straightforward learning technique that can help you achieve this. We refer to it as the scribble technique, highlighted by an Amazon
Do you use your mobile phone to stay in touch with your loved ones, save cherished moments, and work from any location? Do you carry it around with you everywhere you go? Losing your phone or tablet can be a major setback for your personal and professional life. Fortunately, Samsung's range of
If you are concerned about cleaning and sanitizing your dog's wounds, Hibiscrub is a reliable disinfectant that can combat bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Although it is commonly used in medical facilities, you can also use it at home.In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits, side effects, and safe