Grant for urgent work affecting health and safety

Eligibility

To qualify you must meet all the below criteria:

  • you must live within Reading borough (pay your Council Tax to Reading Borough Council)
  • you must either:
    • be an owner occupier, and have lived in the property for at least three years
    • be a tenant living in private rented accommodation (not owned by a member of your family) with obligations for carrying out repairs
  • you must receive at least one of the principle means tested benefits
  • your property must be identified as having category one or two hazards following an assessment using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

What the grant covers

The grant can only be used to pay for work needed to bring the property up to a standard and ensure your home is free from category one or two safety hazards (as defined by HHSRS).

Examples of work could be:

  • repairs to stairs or floors
  • remedying dampness
  • provision of hot water
  • replacement of dangerous electrics

The grant can also cover any essential costs, such as planning permission, building regulations or home improvement agency fees.

The maximum grant is £3,000.

Applying

Contact our independent Home Improvement Agency (HIA) who will help you through the grants process. They will:

  • check you meet the qualifying criteria
  • carry out an HHSRS inspection of your home to identify any qualifying hazards and give a list of work needed
  • help you get quotes for the work from at least two contractors
  • help you submit your application to the council

Once we have received your application we will assess your application and double check your eligibility. We will write to let you know if your application has been successful within 21 days.

There is a limit to the funding available for this grant – this money is allocated on a first come. first served basis.

Do not start any work until you have received our written confirmation.

Getting the work done

Once you have received confirmation that your grant has been approved, your contractors can start work . The HIA will help you manage the work.

The work must be completed within 12 months of your grant being approved.

Paying for the work

The council will pay the grant directly to your contractor once:

  • the work has been completed to a satisfactory standard
  • we have received an acceptable invoice (on official headed paper with full details and costs of work carried out)
  • we have received any certificates or warranties required for the work carried out
  • you have signed a consent form confirming you are satisfied with the quality of the work.

Our HIA will contact the council if any unforeseen works arise once your grant has been approved and the work has started. We may increase the grant awarded to pay for these additional works up to the maximum grant payable. We will not pay for additional works carried out without permission.

You will be responsible for the costs of any unforeseen works which exceed the maximum grant.

Conditions of the grant

  • All work must be completed within 12 months of your grant being approved.
  • We will register a Local Land Charge against your home. If the property is sold within five years the grant must be repaid in full .
  • You will not be eligible for further grant funding from us within three years of receiving this grant.