Search site
»

Grants and Loans for Homeowners

Information about Home Security Grants, Repair Loans and Empty Property Loans.

Window lock
At present the forms of financial assistance we offer are:


Home security grant

These are provided to help low income households pay for urgent home security works and priority will be given to applicants receiving any income based, 'means tested' benefit.

Eligible works may include:

  • Installing appropriate home security measures, including window and door locks, replacement of damaged windows, glazing and doors and door entry systems, following a criminal incident and where the property is deemed to be at risk.

The applicant must:

  • be a home owner, leaseholder or private tenant who has lived in their existing home for at least the past 12 months, and
  • have a responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the property,

The minimum home security grant that can be paid is £100 and the maximum is £3,000 in any three year period.


Repair Loan

A Home Repair Loan is an income based, 'means tested' loan, secured on the property, and is available to home owners and leaseholders to repair and maintain their property. If the property is sold or ownership transferred within five years, then the loan is repayable with compound interest, after that time it is repayable without any interest.

If you complete a Preliminary Enquiry form we can give you some idea of what contribution, if any, you would be expected to make.  If you are in receipt of an income based, "means tested" benefit then the loan will normally be for 100% of the cost of the works.  The minimum loan is £100, and the maximum is £30,000 in any ten year period, including any other repair loans provided by the Council in that period.

Priority will normally be given to applications where:

  • the applicant has owned and lived in the property for at least the last three years or has let the property to tenants, under a suitable tenancy, for the previous 10 years, and
  • the property was built more than 10 years before the application; and
  • falls within Council tax bands A-E.

Applicants who do not meet these criteria may apply and each case will be decided on its own merits.  Properties with serious or life threatening issues will be considered in advance of those with minor disrepair.

The qualifying works include:

  • Removing Category 1 and some Category 2 hazards as defined in the Housing Act 2004.
  • Bringing the dwelling up to the Decent Homes Standard.
  • Increasing thermal efficiency of a home that is already a decent home, including the fitting of up to 270mm loft insulation, cavity or solid wall insulation and draught proofing.
  •  Assisting with the cost of environmentally sustainable methods of heating or hot water generation including but not restricted to solar heating, and ground or air source heat pumps, up to a maximum of £1,000.


Empty Property Loans

Empty Property Loans may be offered to help bring empty residential properties back into use.  The maximum loan is £30,000 for each self-contained unit of accommodation.

The assistance takes the form of an interest-free loan that is secured on the property, and is registered as a local land charge.  The loan is repayable in full with compound interest if the property is sold within five years of the certified date.  Otherwise the loan is normally repayable by instalments, without interest, using an agreed proportion of the monthly rental income, until the end of the nomination right period.

The loans may be offered to non-occupying owners, leaseholders and potential landlords of empty properties, who have an obligation to repair and maintain the property.  Priority will normally be given to applications where the property has been empty for at least 12 months, and the owner intends to rent out the property for the full five year loan condition period.

As a condition of receiving the loan the applicant will normally be required to provide tenancy nomination rights to the Council.  This will mean that the property can be used by people on the housing register, who are on low income.

To qualify for help, the property must be in disrepair or require fire precaution work for its intended use as a house in multiple occupation.  The Council will provide a schedule of works that must be carried out before occupation of the property, and all the works listed must be carried out, even if the cost of these works exceeds the amount of loan.


For further information you can email:
grantsandloans.support@colchester.gov.uk

Fill in and submit our Private Sector Housing Advice/Complaint form

pdf icon Click here to download the Financial Assistance Policy [254kb]

pdf icon Click here to download the Financial Assistance Enquiry Form [187kb]