Test of resources
Due to funding restrictions, the Housing Executive has restricted its award of grants. You can still apply for the mandatory Repairs Grant and the Disabled Facilities Grant but awards for other grants will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.
The 'test of resources' is used to work out how much you should pay towards the cost of the work. It takes account of your income and your personal circumstances.
The "test of resources" applies to owner occupiers and tenants who wish to apply for a grant. Landlords who apply are subject to a test known as the "Landlord's Contribution".
The Housing Executive only uses the 'test of resources' if you are applying for a replacement grant, a renovation grant, a common parts grant or a disabled facilities grant. Contact an advice agency if you feel that the Housing Executive has made a mistake when applying the test of resources.
How does the test of resources work?
The Housing Executive will look at your circumstances to establish the minimum amount of money you need to meet your family's "basic need". This is known as your "applicable amount". The Housing Executive will then deduct your applicable amount from your income to find out how much money you are expected to contribute towards the grant. Grants will only be paid out to a maximum amount so, if the work you are having done costs more than this limit, you may have to contribute more money to finish the job.
The Housing Executive has prepared a "ready reckoner" to help you estimate how much you would be expected to pay towards work before you would be elibigle for grant funding. You can access this tool on the Housing Executive's website.
How is the applicable amount worked out?
The Housing Executive works out your applicable amount by adding together:
- your personal allowance
- dependents allowance
- your premiums
- a standard grant premium of £56.40
This varies depending on whether you are single, a couple or a lone parent.
You may get a dependents allowance if you are responsible for children under 16, or under 19 if they are still in full time education.
You may be eligible for a range of premiums depending on your personal circumstances, including:
- family premium
- pensioner premium
- bereavement premium
- disability premiums
- disabled child premium
- carer premium.
Whose income will the Housing Executive look at?
The Housing Executive will usually look at the income of:
- the person making the application
- anyone over 16 living in the accommodation.
If you are applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant the Housing Executive will look at the income of
- the person with the disability and
- the partner of the disabled person
The Housing Executive will not take the income of anyone else living with the disabled person into consideration when working out your contribution. If you are applying for a Disabled Facilities Grant for the benefit of a disabled child or young person there will be no means test.
What counts as income?
The Housing Executive will look at:
- your earnings
- your benefits
- any capital.
If you are working you must give the Housing Executive a 'certificate of earnings'. This outlines your earnings over the previous 52 weeks.
The Housing Executive won't count any of the following as income:
- payments for expenses while working or volunteering
- housing benefit
- discretionary housing payments
- disability living allowance
- attendance allowance
- social fund payments
- war pensions.
The Housing Executive will also add 'tariff income' if you have more than £6,000 in capital.
What counts as capital?
The Housing Executive will add 'tariff income' if you have more than £6,000 in capital:
- If you are under 60 you will be treated as having £1 tariff income for every £250 you have over £6000
- If you are over 60 you will be treated as having £1 tariff income for every £500 you have over £6000.
The Housing Executive won't take into account:
- the capital of your children
- the dwelling the grant is for
- your own dwelling ( if this is different)
- most personal possessions.
The Housing Executive will include any capital which you have intentionally got rid off simply to increase the amount of grant you can get.
I get jobseeker's allowance or income support
The Housing Executive won't take into account any of your income if you, or your partner gets:
The Housing Executive will work out your applicable amount as £1. This means that you will get the full amount of grant possible. However, you may still have to pay some money towards the actual cost of the work.
I am self-employed
You must give the Housing Executive a statement of your earnings over the past 12 months when you apply. This can be:
- a written statement
- a notice of tax credit entitlement.
At the formal application stage you must provide a set of accounts for the trading year. If you have been self-employed for less than a year the Housing Executive may accept accounts for a lesser period of time.