Decent Homes Assistance Factsheet

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  information                                     factsheet

 Decent Homes Assistance
 Helping private homeowners get their homes to a decent standard

Luton Borough Council offers interest-free
loans to help homeowners get their homes to       How do I qualify?
what is defined by law as ‘a decent standard’.
                                                 This scheme only applies to homes that are
Often if your home is suffering from major       more than 30 years old within Luton, and to
problems that cause a danger to the people       people who have owned their home for three
living there, the issue could be covered under   years or more.
building or content insurance. If the issue in
question is not covered by this, a loan under    Homeowners must also be in receipt of one of
the Decent Homes Assistance programme            the following:
could be the answer.
                                                 • Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit and
                                                   with an annual household income of less
     What is ‘a decent home?’                      than £16,040 per year, as stated in Tax
                                                   Credit Award letter TC602
This has been detailed in a Government
                                                 • Pension Credit
document called the Housing Health and
Safety Rating System. Some of those              • Income Support
recommendations include:                         • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
• the house should be in a reasonable state      • Housing Benefit
  of repair                                      • Council Tax benefit.
• it should have reasonably modern facilities
  and services
                                                 If you need this in large print, on tape
• It should have adequate insulation against     or in                              Polski

However, the Council recommends that if your     %      01582 54 72 22

home needs urgent repairs affecting the safety
of anyone living there, you should attend to
them as soon as possible, as the process of       For more information contact the
a loan through this scheme can be a lengthy       housing department:
                                                  Tel: 01582 54 72 22
These loans are only available to properties in
the areas that have been identified as having       Equity release
the highest number of non decent homes and
the most ill health. For details of these areas    Homeowners over 60 years old or whose
please ring the number below or visit our          household includes a disabled person may also
website at                                         qualify for equity release should any additional                 funding be needed for work. The scheme can
                                                   also be used as an alternative to the Council’s
 What is the process?                              Decent Homes Assistance scheme.

                                                   Called Houseproud, the equity release scheme
Once you have reached the top of the               is operated by the Home Improvement Trust
waiting list, an inspector will arrange to visit   and backed by Luton Borough Council.
your home to do an inspection.                     Houseproud is not run as a commercial
                                                   organisation but as a not-for-profit group in
The Council will calculate the work needed to      association with local councils.
bring your home up to a decent standard, and
the loan will be based on this. The maximum
loan payable is £20,000. Should the value of        More information
any work needed be greater than £20,000, the
additional amount would need to be funded          To make an application for a loan, please
by the homeowner. No work is to be started         contact Luton Borough Council’s Housing
until an approval is issued.                       department on 01582 547222 or email
The Council can provide a list of recommended
builders to carry out any work. Two quotes         For more details about Houseproud call
must be obtained before any loan will be           0800 783 7569 or visit their website at

Once the work has been completed, the
Council will offer advice on the most
effective means of home maintenance to keep
your home in the best possible condition.

  The conditions of the loan

The loan is secured on the property. Therefore,
should the owner sell or pass the property on,
the loan will be reclaimed by the Council from
the proceeds of the sale or transfer.

In addition you cannot apply for another loan
under this scheme for the same property for
another 10 years.

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