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Renovation grants for owner-occupiers

Grants are available for essential works including repairs and works to make houses safe. The maximum grant is £20,000 and the minimum £1000.

Who is eligible?

  • You must have lived in the property for the last three years
  • Grants are available for houses that are in Council Tax bands A to D

What works can be considered?

  • Works to remedy serious health and safety hazards. This could include electrical rewiring, first time central heating where the existing heating is inadequate or remedying significant damp and structural issues.
  • Significant repair works costing more than £1,000.
  • Works to bring an empty home back into use can be eligible, where the home has been empty for more than 2 years.
  • Creating new dwellings by conversion.
  • In all cases all lofts will need to have at least 300mm of insulation and any cavity walls that are capable of being insulated should be insulated.

How much help might I get to repair my home?

Grants of up to £20,000 are available towards the cost of eligible works. We will calculate the cost of eligible works, usually from two independent estimates, up to the £20,000 maximum.

The grants are means tested and the means test works out what is affordable for you to contribute towards the cost of these works based on a central Government formula. This means test figure is deducted from the cost of eligible works to give the grant amount. Where income or capital are relatively high it may be that your contribution will exceed the cost of eligible works and there will be no grant.

We can carry out an informal means test over the phone if you call us. You will be required to provide proof of financial circumstances when you submit your application.

Grants are not given if the cost of works is less than £1,000. If the builder is related to you or you are carrying out the work yourself the grant will only cover the cost of materials.

Do I have to repay the grant?

There are conditions that you will have to sign up to which require you to own and live in the property for the next 15 years. If you do, then you do not have to pay anything back.

If you sell or transfer the property or move, then you have to pay back the grant, but it will be interest free unless you break some of the conditions. For instance, you will be charged interest if you provide false or misleading information, or if you do not repay the grant within six months of a demand. Full details are in the deed of agreement that you will be required to sign.

How is the grant paid?

Payment will be made directly to the contractor carrying out the works. This must be one of the contractors that originally estimated for the work.

You will be asked to confirm your satisfaction with the work prior to grant payment and the council will only pay for works that appear to be properly carried out. If you have a contribution to make towards the cost of works this must be paid before any grant money is issued.

How do I make an application?

Initial enquiries can be made by contacting our Private Sector Housing Team.

If we feel that you may qualify for a grant we will then arrange to come and survey the property and provide you with an application pack.

Further information

This page only gives an outline of the grant procedure. Full details of the grants available, the process and conditions can be found in Appendix A of the East Suffolk Private Sector Housing Strategy.

All grants offered are subject to available budget levels and must help to meet the council’s strategic aims in relation to housing matters.