Home repairs

The Home Improvement Service offers assistance to home owners on low income who require works to their home. The work must be considered essential to protect their health and safety, by making the home warm, weatherproof and with reasonably modern facilities.

The aim of the Home Improvement Service is to give financial assistance and help with employing contractors and ensuring work is carried out to a good standard.

The type of works available through the Home Improvement Service include:

  • replacing windows and doors;
  • roof repairs;
  • renewing old kitchens and bathrooms;
  • electrical rewiring;
  • dealing with damp or rot;
  • renewing defective gas or electrical installations;
  • remedying structural instability; and
  • providing bathroom facilities for the first time.

The Home Improvement Service can offer a free survey of your property and a free advisory service regarding any problems you may be experiencing. If we cannot help, we will check to see if another service outside the Council can help.

The Home Improvement Service offers free help and advice with:

  • surveying your home and preparing a specification of suitable works;
  • advising on choice of suitable contractors;
  • putting the works out to tender to approved contractors;
  • filling out paperwork, including assisting with applying for Building Regulation approval, if necessary;
  • checking work is carried out to a good standard; and
  • ensuring any safety checks are carried out by the contractor and appropriate certificates / guarantees are provided.

Case study

Mrs B contacted the Home Improvement Service regarding problems with her old electrical wiring, after a routine check by the fire service found it to be unsafe. Mrs B was very concerned about this as she was on Guaranteed Pension Credit and didn't have any disposable income. However, she did not have any outstanding mortgage and had a property that had recently been valued at £150,000.

After speaking to the caseworker who discussed her options, Mrs B decided that the Home Appreciation Loan was her best way forward and enabled her to get the electrical re-wire she needed.

Mrs B was visited by one of our Technical Officers who advised her that we would send out two separate experienced and approved contractors. Mrs B felt relieved that she did not have to do any of the organising herself and felt reassured that the Council would take care of her needs.

Once the Home Appreciation Loan had been approved the chosen contractor was able to carry out the work. On completion, the technical officer visited the client to ensure that she was happy with the work that had been done and that all her needs had been met.

Mrs B said she was delighted with the work that had been carried out and that the contractor had been very friendly and answered all her questions. She also felt happy and safe in her property once again.

Who can apply for financial assistance?

Any home owner who is on specified benefits, or on low income and cannot access a commercial loan. The home owner must live at the property as their main residence.

Qualifying benefits

  • Income Support
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Disabled Persons Tax Credit
  • War Disablement Pension
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Severe Disability Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Severe Disability Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, but there is no upper age limit. Housing services can offer additional support for the over 55's and those affected by disability or chronic illness.

If you would like any advice or information on benefits the following websites may be useful:

Contact

To apply for assistance, contact:
Or, in person, at any Customer First office.