Improvements grants used to be available through local councils to help with
the cost of improving run-down homes to bring them up to a decent standard. These
days this single scheme has been replaced by a number of more specific grants
for closely defined purposes, for example, for those with physical disabilities,
or to improve the energy efficiency rating of a property.
They are all discretionary grants and in each case subject to an appropriate means test. In theory they can be claimed by any home owner, landlord or tenant. In practice as councils have few funds to allocate most set strict criteria and little money is actually available.
The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 defines the various types of assistance still available. These include house renovation grants; common parts grants; HMO grants; disabled facilities grants; home repair assistance; group repair schemes; and relocation grants. The conditions and qualifications vary while the legislation gives local authorities considerable individual discretion. If you think you may qualify for assistance under any heading, we suggest you talk to the Local Council for initial advice.