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Renovation grants for owner-occupiers

Renovation grants are discretionary grants for the repair, adaptation or improvement of private homes. To assist owner-occupiers in the Suffolk Coastal district, means tested grants of up to £30,000 are available towards the cost of eligible works to bring homes up to the decent homes standard.

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 C.
  • Works required are those that are needed to bring the property up to the decent home standard.

What is the decent home standard?

A decent home is one which:

Meets the current minimum statutory standard for housing - meaning that it is free of serious health and safety hazards.

Is in a reasonable state of repair - properties which fail to meet this criterion are those where either:

  • one or more of the key building components (for example, roof covering, electrical installation) are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair; or
  • two or more of the other building components (for example, bathroom, kitchen) are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair.

Has reasonably modern facilities - properties which fail to meet this criterion are those which lack three or more of the following:

  • a reasonably modern kitchen (20 years old or less);
  • a kitchen with adequate space and layout;
  • a reasonably modern bathroom (30 years old or less);
  • an appropriately located bathroom and WC;
  • adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem);
  • adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats.

Provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort - this criterion requires dwellings to have both effective insulation and efficient heating.

How much help might I get to repair my home?

Grants of up to £30,000 are available towards the cost of eligible works. We will calculate the cost of eligible works, usually from two independent estimates, up to the £30,000 maximum. Up to £5,000 worth of insulation and heating efficiency improvements above the decent homes standard can also be included within the maximum figure.

All lofts will need to have at least 150mm of insulation and any cavity walls that are capable of being insulated, that are not to current building control standard, should be insulated.

The grants are means tested, 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 normally 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. Grants less that £20,000 require you to own and live in the property for the next 20 years. Grants exceeding £20,000 (to a maximum of £30,000) require you to own and live in the property for the next 30 years. If you do, then you do not have to pay anything back.

If you sell, 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 calling or emailing the 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 Suffolk Coastal’s Private Sector Housing Renewal 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.