Wealden District Council

More help for private homes

Media Release : 24 July 2017

Wealden’s new Private Housing Financial Assistance policy will enable a wider range of assistance to be offered to disabled residents and help make empty properties habitable again.

Crumbling bricks

Government changes have seen the removal of various restrictions and a rise in the funding for Disabled Facilities Grants. This funding, which is provided through the Better Care Fund, makes use of the additional money to assist with a wider range of improvements to help disabled residents.
Wealden’s new policy, Private Sector Housing Financial Assistance Policy 2017 – 2020, also uses Home Renewal Loans to help private home owners who do not have the resources to keep their homes in good repair and to carry out energy-saving improvements. 
Through a home improvement loan it is also possible to bring a property that has been standing empty for over a year back in to use, making use of neglected buildings to add to the District’s stock of housing.
“Good quality housing can have positive impacts on a range of other factors including health and educational attainment, whether in the public or private sector,” said Councillor Graham Wells, Cabinet member for Housing at Wealden District Council. “This policy helps ensure decent housing is available to everyone in Wealden. Homeowners, who are unable to carry out necessary improvements due to hardship and do not qualify for any loan assistance, will be offered advice and assistance on their future housing options.
“It can also provide help to bring empty houses back in to use.”
Additional assistance for disabled people in Wealden will include:
• Top-up Assistance for disabled adaptations reflecting the fact that the maximum mandatory grant has not increased since 2008.
• Shared Equity Loans to assist home owners - primarily families with disabled members - who are currently locked in unadaptable housing. The shared equity loan will help them move to more appropriate accommodation.
• Fast Track Minor Adaptations, working in partnership with Social Care, to provide minor adaptations and the equipment for people to allow them to leave hospital when ready, and prevent admissions due to slips and falls in the home.
For more information, please visit the Private Housing Assistance pages of the Wealden website or email: privatehousing@wealden.gov.uk .