Home Improvement Grants: who, what and how

Carrying out repairs or improvements to your home can be a costly business. The good news is that there are plenty of home improvement grants available to help towards the financial outlay, whether you own your home or rent from a landlord.

 

What sort of improvements are eligible for grants?

Any home maintenance work including building, roofing, plumbing, electrical, decorating, doors, windows, flooring or groundworks may be eligible for a grant. Also, home improvement grants are offered to adapt a home for a disabled person and to improve the energy efficiency of a property.

Who is eligible for a home improvement grant?

Anyone who lives in a property and uses it as their home can apply for a home improvement grant. That means you are eligible whether you are the home owner or a tenant, provided your landlord agrees. You are eligible even if your home is a caravan or a boat.

Where can I apply for a home improvement grant?

Your local authority would usually be your first port of call. Local authorities offer a variety of grants towards the cost of home improvements and repairs. Each local authority will have its own rules about the types of grants on offer and eligibility to apply for them.

What will the grant cover?

A home improvement grant will help fund the cost of any improvements, repairs or adaptations deemed to be necessary to improve your living conditions. It may cover the cost of labour, materials or tools or it may pay for a survey or advice to decide what repairs are necessary.

What specific grants are available?

If someone in your household is disabled, a disabled facilities grant will help towards the cost of adapting your home to help the disabled person continue to live there. Grants of up to £30,000 are available in England and £36,000 in Wales.

Residents in Wales can apply for a grant under the Houses for Homes scheme operated by the Welsh Government. This offers financial help to improve a property to make it fit for sale or rent. The grant is allocated by your local authority.

Grants are available under the Warm Front Scheme to help make your home more energy efficient. Grants of up to £6,000 can help cover the cost of improvements such as a new boiler, insulation to your hot water tank or upgrading gas central heating.

With the new Green Homes Grant you can get up to £5,000 from the government for double glazing and insulation. This scheme launched on 30 Sept 2020 and will only last till 31st Mar 2021. It has its issues - for example there will still be an amount that you will have to pay and the rest is paid by the government but still it makes a huge difference to the total cost of your home improvement. 

What are my rights when I apply for a grant?

Local authorities will have their own rules for eligibility which should be available for any applicants to read. Before agreeing to the grant, the local authority must ensure that you have been informed in writing of any terms and conditions of help and that you have received appropriate information and advice regarding your responsibilities.

It must check that you have sufficient funds to contribute to the improvement work and it must ensure it gets your consent before any work is carried out or any changes to the terms and conditions are made.

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