Other housing related grants
Subject to funding, the Council offers a number of grants to help West Berkshire residents with various housing circumstances, subject to available funds. The different types of grants available are outlined below. You will only be considered for a grant if you are not eligible for a Flexible Home Improvement Loan. All of our grants attract a charge on the property.
Renovation Grants are offered on a discretionary basis for essential repairs up to £20,000.
To qualify for a Renovation Grant:
- you must have owned and lived in your property for 3 years
- your property must be at least 10 years old
- and you must remain in your property for 10 years after grant completion, otherwise some or all of the grant is repayable.
Renovation Grants are also means tested, so your income would be assessed and you may have to make a contribution towards the works.
The property must also qualify under the Housing Health and Safety Fitness Rating System.
Renovation Grants cannot be used to cover works relating to general maintenance, or lack, of decorating and upgrading installations.
FUNDING IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR RENOVATION GRANTS FOR 2012/2013 FINANCIAL YEAR.
Home Repair Assistance Grants
These grants are also offered on a discretionary basis for works up to £3000.
Home Repair Assistance Grants can cover security works, repairs and minor disability adaptations. This grant is not means tested but there is a capital limit and you do have to meet certain criteria to qualify, depending on the type of works needed.
Flexible Home Improvement Loans
FHILs are available to home owners over 60 years old to carry out improvements and adaptations to their homes to make the safer, warmer, more comfortable and secure. The loans are flexible because there are a range of ways in which they can be paid back. You can choose to make regular monthly repayments, occasional repayments or no payments at all. The loan is secured by a charge on your property, and must be repaid if the property is sold or the owners cease to occupy it.
For help installing or upgrading your heating you can contact Warm Front who can help you if you are in receipt of particular benefits. Warm Front can be contacted on 0800 316 2805 or visit www.warmfront.co.uk
For help and advice regarding heating your home you can contact the Home Heat Help Line on 0800 33 66 99 or visit www.homeheathelpline.org.uk
Selecting a Contractor
Knowing who to trust when you need works carrying out in your home can be difficult. West Berkshire Council has recently joined the Buy With Confidence Scheme, run by Hampshire County Council. The Buy With Confidence Scheme keeps a register of approved contractors in your area for you to choose from. You can contact the scheme on 01635 519930, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
If you are a contractor and are interested in registering with the scheme, please use the contact details above.
Age Concern also holds a list of contractors. You can contact them on 0118 959 4242 or email them at email@example.com
When having works carried out at your home you should always get at least 3 quotations for the works. You could also contact Ridgeway Care & Repair who can help you to get works carried out. Their details are below.
Aster Living is a Home Improvement Agency that can help you to apply for a home improvement grant or loan. They can be contacted on the number below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on any of the grants mentioned above you can contact Aster Living or the Private Sector Housing Officer on the following numbers:
Aster Living - 01635 588811
Private Sector Housing Officer - 01635 519363
Age UK Berkshire runs a handyperson scheme to help older people carry out jobs around the home. For more information about this scheme you can contact Age UK Berkshire by calling 0118 959 4242 or emailing email@example.com. The Age UK website also provides information about the Handyperson scheme: www.ageconcernberkshire.org.uk