Home Improvement Grants

Home improvement grants of up to £5000 are available for eligible home owners. You may be able to make an application if your property:

  • Doesn’t meet the council’s health & safety standards
  • Needs minor work to help the owner or tenant or a member of their family to live independently
  • Needs work to improve energy efficiency not covered by any national grant scheme. 

Who is eligible for a Home Improvement Grant?

Applicants must be:

  • The owner of the property and must occupy the property as their main home
  • Proof of identity must be provided by showing either a valid full passport or details of the applicant’s national insurance number must be given
  • Proof of ownership according to the council’s procedures at the time of application must be given
  • The property must be the applicant’s only and current residence and be within the boundaries of Test Valley 
  • The applicant must be in receipt of a means tested benefit
  • Proof of the benefit must be shown. Photocopies are not acceptable. Proof can either be a letter from the department of works and pensions (dated within the last three months), the benefit book, the council tax bill or by permission being given to confirm with our revenue service.

Are any properties excluded?

Yes, commercial properties are excluded where the planning use is part commercial only self- contained dwellings with separate access will be considered.

Properties that are subject to Closing or Demolition Orders are also excluded.

What can the grant be used for?

The grant can be used for properties that:

  • Fail the council’s health and safety standard, for eample, are unfit or have category 1 hazards rated on the housing health and safety rating system or are in substantial disrepair and/or
  • Need minor adaptation and/or improvement to facilitate independent living for the applicant or a member of their family living within the property and/or
  • Need additional energy efficiency works where the works are not covered by any other grant funded scheme.

How much help might be available?

  • 100% of the cost of the eligible works, including VAT
  • A maximum of £5,000 is available for those eligible works

What work is eligible?

(a)   Adaptation/improvement of a dwelling for the benefit of a person with a disability in his/her own home or to enable them to reside in another's property. This type of grant can be utilised to assist quicker discharges from hospitals, particularly when the processing of a normal disabled facilities grant may unduly delay progress

(b)  Works to secure the basic fabric of a property from the entry of wind and rain, or the occupants from immediate exposure to dangerous and/or insecure building elements or foul drainage

(c)   Works of minor repair or improvement to a home of a person aged 60 or over that will allow them to remain living in their own home or to return to their own home from a hospital for example

(d)   Energy efficiency work to insulate lofts, hot water tanks, pipes and cavity walls and other energy efficiency work as appropriate, except where the work would be covered by a government or other grant funded scheme

(e)   Work to improve home security, such as door chains, door viewers, upgrading to 5-lever mortise locks on external doors, door bolts, window/patio door locks and home safety equipment such as smoke alarms.

Do I have to repay the grant?

Subject to the our discretion the grant must be repaid in the following way should the property be sold, or the last registered owner dies or goes into long term residential care or there is a disposal of the property (see terms and conditions). For grants approved after 1 April 2017 repayment is required if the above occurs within 5 years of the grant completion or the terms and conditions are breached.

The property must not be left vacant for more than six months.

Can I apply for a grant more than once?

The applicant will be entitled to two grants every five years.

What must the work be for?

The work should enable the applicant and/or members of his/her household to live independently within the property.

Are professional fees included?

  • Architects and surveyors. A maximum of 15% of the eligible works for the services of an architect, a surveyor or a combination of both.
  • Others detailed in the policy. 

What are the terms and conditions?

Work covered by the applicant’s own building insurance will not be covered by this scheme.

Is any security needed for the grant?

Where appropriate the grant will be secured against the property and lodged with His Majesty’s Land Registry or the Land Charges Register, whichever is applicable.

Will my application expire if I can’t get the work done straight away?

Subject to the Council’s discretion:

  • All formal offers of financial assistance will be valid for 6 months
  • All approved applications will be valid for 12 months

How is the quality of the work assured?

The applicant will be responsible for ensuring the quality of the completed work the responsibility can be passed on to an agent of the applicant, for example, an architect. In the event of a dispute we retain the right to make a payment to the builder where they are satisfied with the quality of the work.

What happens if costs go up unexpectedly?

We will only consider payment towards unforeseen work where the total cost of the work does not exceed the grant maximum. The applicant must meet the cost of any unforeseen work above this sum.

How is payment made?

The applicant must normally agree to the payment being paid directly to the builder. An exception to this is where the applicant has already paid the builder and payment is to reimburse the applicant.

Cavity Wall Insulation

Grants and discounted prices are available for cavity wall insulation form other organisations. Information may be obtained from the Environment Centre (tEC) on 0800 804 8601 (freephone), who will provide independent advice.

For further information please contact us.