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Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Grants & financial assistance

Repairs grants and financial assistance
Repairs, grants & financial assistance

There are very few public grants available these days to help people improve their homes.  There are only two grants which the Housing Executive has to award if applicants meet the eligibility criteria.  These are the Disabled Facilities Grant and the Repair Grant.  Until the last few years, there were lots of grants to help homeowners improve their homes.  Nowadays, these grants will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. If your home is causing a serious risk to public health & safety you might be eligible for a grant but it's very rare for these to be approved.

Your Tenant’s Handbook should explain whether you or the Housing Executive is responsible for repairs.  Ask your local district office for a copy of the handbook if you don’t already have one.

Your housing association must make sure that your home is safe to live in. Your tenancy agreement should explain whether you or your housing association is responsible for repairs. Ask your landlord for a copy of your agreement if you don’t already have one.

The Housing Executive has the authority to approve other grants, aside from the Disabled Facilities Grant and the Repair Grant. However, the Housing Executive will only approve the payment of these grants in very extreme circumstances. Grants will only be approved if the Housing Executive believes that there is an imminent and serious risk to the health or safety of the person living in the property.

If you have a physical illness or disability you may need some alterations carried out to your home to help you get around. If you’re a private tenant, you’ll need to get your landlord’s permission to alter the property in any way. Alterations could range from the relatively small, like a ramp or a handrail, through to larger adaptations such as putting in a downstairs toilet.

You are usually responsible for carrying out any repairs or improvements once you have bought your home. It's very difficult to get grant approval from the Housing Executive to help you with the cost of repairs. These days, this type of grant will only be awarded if the Housing Executive believes the condition of the property is likely to cause a very real and very serious risk to the life of the person living in it.

You may be able to get some grant funding to make your home more energy efficient. A lack of proper insulation and ventilation can lead to lots of other problems, like serious damp and mould appearing in the property. You might be entitled to money off the cost of insulating your home or you could get the property insulated for free.

You should report any damage or disrepair to your landlord immediately. It's always a good idea to follow up any reports you make over the phone or in person with a letter so both you and your landlord have a record of any work that needs to be done.

Disabled facilities grants can be paid to help homeowners or private tenants who have a disability undertake certain adaptations recommended by an Occupational Therapist.

A repairs grant is available to help cover the cost of carrying out repairs required after you local council has issued a Notice of Disrepair on a protected tenancy or a Public Health Notice on any other property. Only landlords or some private tenants can apply for a repairs grant. You can get up to £7,500 depending on the type of work needed.

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