Small scale improvements

Our policy for financial assistance with repairs to dwellings seeks to encourage personal responsibility and self-reliance of owner-occupiers to maintain and repair their homes.

However it is acknowledged that there will be an ongoing need for assistance for some owner occupiers with grant aid to deal with urgent repairs.

Small-scale home repair assistance is available where there is either an immediate need for works to be undertaken or the works would be required within the next year.

Such works would enable the occupier to remain independent in their own home and ensure that it is in a safe, secure and weather tight condition.

The types of work that can be grant-aided include:

(a) Repairs

  • roof repairs
  • repairs to dangerous gas and electrical installations
  • repairs or renewal of defective windows
  • repair of defective floors or stairs
  • replacement of defective plumbing
  • repair of drainage systems
  • renewal of hazardous paving
  • renewal of defective boundary fences and access gates if owned by the applicant and necessary for security purposes.

(b) Improvements

  • provision of central heating
  • provision of gas heaters (fires and water heaters)
  • thermal insulation
  • installation of a telephone line (Lifeline Clients)
  • improved security measures as recommended by the Crime Prevention Officer
  • additional power sockets
  • minor disabled adaptations (over bath shower, small ramps and electric door openers)
  • double glazing (where windows are defective and timber replacement exceeds the cost of upvc replacements)
  • provision of safe floor finishes in the kitchen or bathroom
  • provision of facilities for preparing and cooking food.

    NB this list is not exhaustive in respect of works where assistance may be given.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for assistance an applicant must:-

(a) be aged 18 or over on the date of application;

(b) be an owner-occupier;

(c) be on income related benefit i.e.

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Savings Credit as part of pension credit
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Tax Credit (working tax credit and disabled persons tax credit)
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit

(d) have a power or duty to carry out the works

Your attention is drawn to the Council's exceptions policy if you feel that you may suffer hardship as a result of the Council's policy for assistance.

Grant payments

Small scale home repairs assistance is available for 100% of the estimated expense for eligible works up to a maximum of £500 on each application. Assistance over a three year period cannot be more than £1,000.

Loan payments

Where the cost of the works is between £501 and £6,500 the Council can offer a loan to finance the cost of the works. This will be repayable if the property is sold within 35 years from the date of the loan being made. The loan is interest free. The requirement to repay will stop after 35 years. The loan limit is £6,500 for each application and assistance over a three year period cannot normally be more than £6,500. The loan will be registered as a local land charge.

Take advice

Please note all applicants seeking assistance are recommended to take independent legal, financial and other advice concerning the signing of the loan agreement and the registration of the local land charge.

In the event that a grant or loan is approved at the maximum amount and there are unforeseen works which prevent completion of works, the Head of Service, in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing, has delegated authority to increase the maximum by up to £1,000.

A bona fide invoice must accompany all requests for payments from one of the contractors whose estimates were submitted with the application and be receipted as paid, unless the payment is being made direct to the contractor.

Invoices from a member of the applicant's family will not be acceptable. Invoices for materials only from a third party will be acceptable.

N.B. do not start work until you have received written approval from the Council (Housing and Pollution).

If you are elderly - disabled or vulnerable, the Council works with an agency service - "Independent Home Solutions" to provide you with help and advice on all housing matters. If you want any help with the filling out of the application form or in arranging for the work, please contact:

  • Independent Home Solutions
    The Old Crumpet Factory
    16 Brockham Lane
    RH3 7EL
  • Tel: 01737 845630

If you live with family members

Please note that if you live with family members who could reasonably be expected to contribute towards the cost of the works, assistance will not be available.

How to apply for small scale home repairs assistance

If you choose not to use the Independent Home Solutions service or do not meet the criteria for them to assist you, then fill in the downloadable application form below and send it to the address below, together with a detailed estimate and specification of works.

A Housing Improvements Officer will then arrange to visit you to inspect your property and ensure that the proposed works are eligible and assess if your estimates are sufficient for your application to proceed and advise you accordingly.

More information

Leaflet on Home Repairs Assistance (PDF document [36Kb])

Application form for Small Scale Home Repairs Assistance (PDF document [347.4Kb])