Home improvement or disrepair grants and loans

This page provides information about the different grants and loans available to assist residents who need improvements or essential repairs to their property.

The grants and loans are available to property owners, leaseholders, private tenants and landlords and housing associations. Council tenants should contact Asset Management.

What type of help is available?

There are different grants and loans available for home improvement or disrepair. Read about them below.

Housing, Health and Safety Repair Grant
What is it for?
  • to remove Category 1 and 2 Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) hazards and bring properties up to liveable standard
  • essential works such as roof repairs, repairs to dangerous electrical/gas installations, lack of fixed heating, lack of hot water, inadequate sanitation and drainage


  • Who is it for?
    Owner-occupiers or private tenants (with a repairing obligation).

    How it works
    We will arrange to carry out a survey of your property and assess the eligible works according to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Where hazards are found, we will determine the best way of dealing with them and those works will be eligible for grant funding.

    How much you can get
    A maximum of £20,000 towards the cost of the grant eligible works.

    Conditions
  • property must be over 10 years old
  • owner-occupiers must have lived in the property for at least 3 years prior to date of application
  • tenants must have lived in the property for 3 years, have a repairing obligation and a tenancy with no less than 5 years to run
  • in certain circumstances, the grant may have to be paid back if the property is sold within 10 years of the works being completed


  • How to apply
    Contact the Housing Adaptations & Grants Team on 0118 937 2562 or by emailing adaptations.grants@reading.gov.uk.
    Landlord Grant
    What is it for?
  • works to remedy items of disrepair which are harmful to the health, safety, security or welfare of occupants
  • works required to meet the standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation


  • Who is it for?
  • landlords who own the property in question or have a lease with at least five years to run
  • landlords who have been issued with an enforcement, prohibition or emergency remedial notice


  • How it works
    We will arrange to carry out a survey of the property and assess the eligible works. We will also determine the best way of bringing the property back into use and those works will be eligible for grant funding.

    How much you can get
    50% of the cost of the grant eligible work up to a Maximum of £10,000.

    What you should be aware of
    The minimum grant is £1,000. On completion of work the property should:
  • be free from category 1 hazards as defined by the HHSR System
  • be in a reasonable state of repair
  • have reasonable modern facilities
  • have adequate means of fire escape and detection system
  • have sufficient facilities to comply with the current ‘Amenity Standards’
  • the grant must be repaid if the property is sold or no longer let within five years of the completion of work


  • How to apply
    Contact the Housing Adaptations & Grants Team on 0118 937 2562 or by emailing adaptations.grants@reading.gov.uk.

    Flexible Home Improvement Loans (FHIL)

    Reading Borough Council can now offer you the ultimate Flexible Home Improvement Loans to improve the warmth, comfort, safety, and security of your home. Read more about the available loans below.

    Flexible Home Improvement Loan: Empty Homes
    What is it for?
  • works to bring empty properties back into use and up to decent home standard
  • renovations, repairs and/or energy efficiency measures e.g. heating, boilers, insulation and double glazing


  • Who is it for?
    Owners of long term empty homes. The empty home must have been owned by the applicant for 2 years.

    How it works
    We will arrange to carry out a survey of your property and assess the eligible works according to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Where hazards are found, we will determine the best way of dealing with them and those works will be eligible for grant funding.

    How much can you get?
    Up to £20,000.00 towards the cost of the necessary works. If the total cost of works exceeds £20,000.00, the applicant must prove they have sufficient funds to complete the works.

    What you should be aware of
  • all applications are subject to a credit check, including council tax arrears
  • the loan is offered on a 5-year fixed term
  • sufficient equity in the property is required to support the loan
  • the loan must not exceed the lesser of the cost of the works or two-thirds of the value of the property
  • the loan must be repaid if the property is sold
  • there is interest paid on the loan


  • How to apply
    Contact the Housing Adaptations & Grants Team on 0118 937 2562 or by emailing adaptations.grants@reading.gov.uk.
    Over 60 Home Improvement Loan (HIL)
    What is it for?
  • improvement works to bring property up to decent home standards
  • works relating to for example, heating, plumbing, electrics, roofing, drainage, damp proofing, gutter and disabled adaptations
  • can be used with a Disabled Facilities Grant where the eligible works are in excess of £30,000.00


  • Who is it for?
  • owner occupiers over the age of 60
  • if joint owners, one can be 55 years of age


  • How it works
    We will arrange to carry out a survey of your property and assess the eligible works. We will determine the best way of dealing with any hazards and/or adaptations works and those works will be eligible for grant funding.

    How much can you get?
    Up to £20,000.00 towards the cost of the necessary works.

    What you should be aware of
    The cost of the loan is secured as a charge on the property. Interest is charged on the capital loan at a rate linked to the Bank of England interest rate. If you have an existing mortgage, we will need to get consent from your lender to secure a second charge.

    The loan must be repaid in any of the following ways:
  • regular repayments of interest only, or capital and interest
  • occasional repayments of lump sums that suit the owner
  • the loan must be repaid in full when the property is sold or the owners cease to occupy it
  • the initial set up fee is £80 and the annual management fee is £15


  • How to apply
    Contact the Housing Adaptations & Grants Team on 0118 937 2562 or by emailing adaptations.grants@reading.gov.uk.
    Flexible Improvement Loan: Rented Accommodation
    What is it for?
    Works for the purpose of improving the quality of the accommodation for the tenants, or prospective tenants.

    Who is it for?
    Landlords who own property.

    How it works
    We will arrange to carry out a survey of your property and assess the eligible works.

    How much can you get?
    Up to £50,000.00 towards the cost of the necessary works.

    What you should be aware of
  • the maximum loan term is 15 years
  • maximum loan is the lesser of the cost of repairs/improvements, or 75% of the value of the property
  • loans are secured by a first charge or, in some cases, a second charge on the property
  • the loan must be able to be repaid from the net income from the property and/or other income sources


  • How to apply
    Contact the Housing Adaptations & Grants Team on 0118 937 2562 or by emailing adaptations.grants@reading.gov.uk.
    Last updated on 31/05/2024