Loss of government funding over recent years has made securing a home improvement grant from your local council an even more uphill task. If you have good reason to renovate your living space, however, it's not impossible - here's how you can try and go about getting one.
What entitles me to funding?
The most obvious reason to apply for a home improvement grant is to modify your living space so that it is more accommodating of a disabled tenant.
Often, this means making it easier for you to access your home via the front door, and move around within the home - for example, by widening door-ways.
It can also mean lowering kitchen counters so that you are better able to prepare food and use appliances, or changing heating and lighting fixtures to make things more comfortable.
Exactly which of those modifications you qualify for will be at the discretion of local authorities, but they ought to be enlisting the advice of health professionals before they reach any firm verdict.
What if I just need repair work doing?
If you aren't disabled, getting a home improvement grant is difficult but by no means unheard of.
General renovation funding is sometimes given in cases where a landlord or tenant is recommended improvement work by local authorities, who deem the property in question somehow unsafe.
You can also sometimes apply for funding if your home has been unexpectedly damaged by severe weather conditions such as flooding or a freak event such as a car crashing into the structure of your building.
Smaller improvements pertaining to cosmetic features are generally out of the question. You will normally only be able to secure this type of funding in the event of so-called "exceptional circumstances", which are deliberately prohibitive.
How much funding can I get?
The downside to home improvement grants, as they exist in their current form, is that they generally require the homeowner or tenant to make a partial contribution towards the renovation costs.
Exactly how much you have to pay will be determined by a financial assessment. This means disclosing exactly how much money you have coming in and going out.
But don't less this discourage you. The point here is not to catch you out but make a fair judgement on exactly how much you can reasonably be expected to contribute.
In better news, if changes to your home are recommended in order to facilitate a more comfortable living space for a child, then the funding should - in most cases - be provided in full by the local council.
How do I apply?
The short answer here is that you need to contact your local council and fill in an appointed application form, detailing exactly what kind of modifications you feel your home needs and why you have a strong case.
This can be exactly as long-winded and frustrating an experience as you imagine, as local authorities like these are generally under-staffed and riddled by a long waiting list of people, like you, who need financial support.
If your situation is desperate, there are obvious ways to try and expedite the process - one example being to write an impassioned letter to your local MP, who can then refer your case higher up the chain.