Homeowners across the UK can apply for discretionary financial assistance to help with repairs or improvements. For tenants, landlords are usually responsible for carrying out repairs but they may apply for help with the cost of improvements. The landlord’s permission would usually need to be sought before carrying out home improvement work. For more information Citizens Advice has a page on Repairs in rented housing.
In England and Wales local authorities have discretion to provide assistance. This can take several forms – constituents are best advised to check their local authority’s website to find out what help, if any, is on offer. If grants are offered they are usually subject to a means-test. Alternatively, the authority might offer repayable loans. This Library paper provides an overview: Assistance with home repairs/improvements.
There is no central government scheme or additional funding for home repairs or improvements in England.
In 2016 the Welsh Government announced £10 million in funding for a 15 year home improvement loan scheme. Administered by local authorities, these short to medium term loans of between £1,000 and £25,000 can be taken out by owners of substandard properties. The intention is to recycle the funding.
Local authorities also administer help with home improvements in Scotland – this help is known as a Scheme of Assistance. Constituents should contact their local authority to find out what help is available.
Discretionary help with home improvement work in Northern Ireland is administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive website provides more information about the grants available.
Home adaptations for people with disabilities
Disabled Facilities Grants are available for those who need to adapt their home due to a disability in England and Wales. Subject to eligibility criteria, including a means-test in cases where the adaptation is not for a child, the grants are mandatory.
Applications should be made to the local authority. There is more information on the GOV.UK website.