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Assistance to Improve or Adapt a Home

The Housing Renewal Assistance Policy (2011) is the means by which the council provides financial assistance to improve living conditions in the area (in particular for vulnerable households).

Assistance includes mandatory disabled facilities grants and discretionary repayable assistance (to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty, encourage the return to use of empty properties and increase the number of homes meeting the decent homes standard).

The Policy also provides property owners with access to interest free loans through the Kent 'No Use Empty' Loan Fund for the renovations necessary to enable long term empty properties to be let or sold.

All discretionary assistance in the policy is limited by funding availability.

Warm homes

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is one of the Kent Local Authorities who have signed up to the Local Authority Flexible Eligibility scheme. The intention is to target a proportion of funding to residents who struggle to heat their home to a comfortable standard, or who have a specific condition which may make them vulnerable to the effects of a cold home. The scheme is to assist households to reduce fuel poverty and minimise the health risks associated with living in a cold home.  This assistance is part of the government's Affordable Warmth programme.

Historic Policies and Conditions

Please see Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's previous Housing Renewal Assistance Policies for information on the conditions that applied at that time. If you received financial assistance before 28 June 2011 and require definitive advice on any repayment conditions that may be applicable please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

For any further information on the financial assistance that may be available for housing adaptations, repairs or improvement please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

These grants are mandatory and are available for owner-occupiers and private tenants who are, or would be eligible to be, registered with Social Services as disabled. Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) are means tested with the exception of grants which are given to children and are generally non-repayable. A grant is considered once an assessment has been carried out by an occupational therapist to determine any works that would be necessary and appropriate, including the following:

1. Facilitating access to:

  • a property, or to a building in which a flat is situated
  • a room which is or will be used as the principal family room
  • a room used or to be used for sleeping, or providing a suitable room for the disabled occupant
  • a room in which there is a toilet, bath shower or wash basin, or providing a room which has the required facilities
  • amenities for preparing and cooking food
  • heating, lighting and power at the property, improved heating, and the relocation of controls or power points to make them more accessible

2. Making the property safe for the disabled occupant

3. Works to enable a disabled occupant to care for another dependant person, who normally resides at the property

The applicant must either be the owner or private tenant of the relevant dwelling, park home or houseboat.

Help may also be available for:

  • Repayable relocation assistance
  • Discretionary decent homes assistance
  • Works that include energy efficiency measures and security works

Landlords can apply for repayable assistance for improvement works to accredited properties under the Council’s Private Accredited Lettings (PAL) Scheme. Only works for improvements to energy efficiency or security will be eligible for this assistance.

Details of the DFG are outlined in our current Housing Renewal Assistance Policy, and on the GOV.UK website but for all enquires please contact our Private Sector Housing Team who are happy to discuss your needs.

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