Emergency Minor Works Assistance (EMW)
Responsibility for maintaining private sector homes rests with property owners. However, in certain circumstances, Emergency Minor Works (EMW) is available to help low income households with small-scale works with a total cost of under £1,000 to resolve serious issues affecting the health and safety of the occupants.
Who can apply for an EMW?
The assistance is available to people who own their own homes, live in rented accommodation or have a long lease (for works which are not the responsibility of the landlord) or live in a mobile home.
Who will qualify?
The Applicant or his/her partner will need to be in receipt of one of the following income-related benefits:
- Guaranteed Pension Credit
- Income based job seekers allowance
- Income support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
What works can be carried out?
We will consider applications for removing or reducing category 1 hazards as determined by the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System for example replacing a broken down central heating pump.
What is the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System?
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk-based assessment that considers the effect of any hazards in the property. Hazards are rated according to how serious they are and the effect they have on the occupiers. The basic principle is that the property should be safe for occupation.
For further information on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
Are there conditions attached to the EMW?
The assistance is registered as a local land charge against the property and the whole amount given is repayable in full on the sale, assignment or transfer of the property.
Are there conditions for a mobile home?
Where work is undertaken in respect of a mobile home/static caravan and the land upon which the home is sited is owned by another, a local land charge cannot be imposed. It is a condition that the mobile home/caravan must remain the main residence of the applicant for at least 3 years from the completion of the assistance aided work. The Council will seek to recover the assistance following non-compliance of this condition through a personal charge against the applicant.
How much assistance am I entitled to?
The maximum amount is £1,000 per application. The assistance is discretionary, each case will be subject to the Council’s approval of eligible works and available funding. Generally the Council will only entertain one application per year unless there is a significant health and safety risk. Please note: If you start work before the Council approve the application, no assistance can be paid in retrospect.
I need some help with this
Applicants may wish to use the services of an agent or an Architect, Architectural Technician or surveyor to carry out the following:
- Ensure that all necessary documents and consents are acquired
- Obtaining quotes or tenders
- Provide a detailed specification of work with schedule and drawings
- Making the application
- Provide site visits and monitoring the contract progress
- Arranging payment for the work
Reasonable fees can normally be included within the assistance amount, however, as fees usually have to be paid up front, the applicant will be responsible for them until the assistance is approved.
Advice or concerns about fees should be discussed with the assisting Council officer.
Applicants should ensure their agents, architects and contractors are members of an appropriate professional body, for example:
- Royal Institute of British Architects
- British Institute of Architectural Technicians
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Guild of Master Craftsman
Approved or members of recognised trade lists i.e. Buy With Confidence, Check a Trader, Trade Catcher, Contractor Call, Trust a Trader, Trust Mark, Support with Confidence.
Applicants are advised to have a clear agreement on what they have commissioned to be done and should consult with their assisting Council Officer prior to appointing an Architect/Surveyor and agreeing fees in order to check what level of fees may be included in the assistance.
No work should start on any remedial works until the funding has been fully approved as it cannot be awarded in retrospect.