Cookies at Which? We use cookies to help improve our sites. If you continue, we'll assume that you're happy to accept our cookies. Find out more about cookies

Local authorities have discretionary powers to help with urgent home repairs. We explain what these are and how to apply.

On this page, we explore the following areas:

1. What help is available for home repairs?
2. Who can get help?
3. How to apply

What help is available for home repairs?

Most local authorities in the UK offer limited financial help for urgent home repairs or improvements, such as roofing or electrical wiring, without which the resident’s health and safety might be at risk.

Local authorities might be able to:

  • help fund work not covered by a DFG
  • top up funding for work that costs more than the maximum DFG available
  • provide financial help if your relative cannot meet their assessed contribution
  • help occupants move to more suitable accommodation.

Northern Ireland offers Home repair assistance grants, but there is no nationwide grant scheme available in England, Scotland or Wales. Local authorities in these countries might offer assistance with repairs, depending on local budgets and priorities. But each local authority can decide what help it is willing or able to give, and who is eligible. Each council must publish its own policy on this.

The amount of financial help given will vary, but is unlikely to exceed £2,000 for minor alterations or £5,000 for major alterations.

Who can get help?

Financial assistance for home repairs is discretionary and will usually only be given in exceptional circumstances. As each local authority can offer its own scheme, eligibility criteria will vary. But help for home repairs is usually limited to those of a certain age or in receipt of certain benefits.

Check with your local authority to see what’s on offer. Or contact your local Home Improvement Agency.

Be careful to check if there are any restrictions in place. In some cases, you’re only eligible if you’ve lived in the property for a certain number of years. Some local authorities will ask you to repay some of the grant if you move house within a certain time of works being completed.

How to apply

Check with your relative’s local authority, or Home Improvement Agency, to find out what help is available in their area. You can find his or her local authority using our Care Services Directory.

More information

  • Benefits and allowances for the elderly: we explain what benefits and allowances are provided by the government, how much you might receive and how to apply.
  • Home Improvement Agencies: for home owners and private tenants, Home Improvement Agencies can help to find sources of funding for home alterations.
  • Mobility aids: from walking sticks to wheelchairs - find out about different kinds of mobility aids and how to get them.

Page last reviewed: April 2017
Next review due: April 2018