If you're in need of financial help to upgrade your home, it's worth finding out if you're eligible for a grant from your local council.
Home repair grants
Grant amounts and eligibility criteria vary according to the area that you live in, but can be available for improvements such as:
Home repair grants are only available for essential maintenance repairs that are deemed necessary.
Lending criteria can be tough and usually you'll need to receive certain benefits to be eligible.
It's worth speaking to your local council to find out more and how you can apply.
The home improvement agency for your area can also offer advice on the help available and assist with grant applications.
It’s best to apply for council grants as near as possible to the beginning of the financial year. That’s when their pot of money is fullest.
Disabled facilities grant
All local councils are required to provide assistance for disabled people to live independently in their own home.
Grants of up to £36,000 (subject to means testing) are available to cover things such as:
widening doorways and installing ramps
adapting heating systems to suit individual needs
improving access to rooms and facilities, eg installing a stairlift
moving light-switches or thermostats to a more appropriate level
If you're eligible, your local council will decide how much you're entitled to.
Remember, if you don't qualify for a grant, some adaption work - such as widening doorways or creating ramps - is VAT-free.
Energy efficiency assistance
There are steps you can take to save money on your utility bills.
Some councils and utilities companies offer financial help for loft or cavity wall insulation, which can stop heat escaping.
Or you can take a look at the energy grants calculator from GOV.UK. This shows what energy-efficient home improvements you could make, and what grants are available.
Some government schemes offer assistance with installing a new heating system, or improving an existing system, for those receiving certain benefits.
If you don’t qualify for help, the Home Heat Helpline can offer advice for those struggling to pay utility bills.
Or try switching your gas and electricity provider or tariff to see if you can make savings.
To find out more about energy efficiency assistance in your area, visit: