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Help with essential house repairs


I own my own home outright and have lived there for eight years. I am single and have hardly any relatives. My house is over 100 years old and needs quite a few repairs. I am on ESA due to two different medical conditions.
Recently I discovered that my electrics needed attention ( found this out accidentally while having another repair done) and on further investigation it transpires that they're in such an appalling state that a large amount of work is required just to make them safe. In the meantime I have no lights as my lighting circuit was disabled to keep me safe.
The bill from the elecrician is £2,300. I only have £1,000 to my name, so the remainder will go on my credit card but I don't know how will pay it off if my funds are wiped out and my weekly income is £112.

So, does anyone know of anywhere I can apply to for a grant for essential repairs to keep me safe? My local council don't do home improvement grants, nor do any of the charities listed at Turn2Us. I've spent all day researching this and drawn a blank. This is my last resort so am hoping someone on here has an answer please!!


  • onenonblonde
    Thanks, I've already tried that one. The main drawback is that my local council had to withdraw home improvement grants due to government cuts.....grrrrr. So it used to be available via them but no longer is
    Based on what I read I would be dependent on there being some other charity or non-governmental organization that helps people like me.
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    It is very sad to find yourself in a situation when you can't look after your property financially, but unfortunately, this is how it is. Can you really afford to stay in this house? If the house is old, when will the time come that you need to fix the plumbing, the roof, the wall cavities etc... Owning a house without a budget for repairs/maintenance is not realistic. Are you likely to be able to return to work in the near future.

    If not, you probably will need to consider selling and moving into a property that is unlikely to require that level of repair. Even if you get a help this time, it is unlikely you will be able to do so each time you face a large bill.
  • Diary
    Diary Posts: 591 Forumite
    Your biggest drawback is you own your own home as you've found out. We're both severely disabled and own it outright because of years of paying a mortgage and working very hard.
    I am in a similar situation we have had no hot water for 3 years, no heating in rooms other than living room, the roof is leaking etc.
    I have found nothing at all that would help us. Our council said when it gets uninhabitable and they have to rehome us they'll then repair it and sell it.
    I am process of trying to get the council to agree to me selling it and moving to council owned house, I hold out no hope for this.
    Master Apothecary Faranell replied, “I assure you, overseer, the Royal Apothecary Society dearly wishes to make up for the tragic misguidance which ended so many lives. We will cause you no trouble. We seek only to continue our research in peace".
  • ManofLeisure_2
    I'm sorry to hear about your situation - must be very difficult for you. Although I don't know your age group, I would suggest taking a look at age uks fact sheet on funding repairs etc. There is some useful info which may help. Here's the link http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS13_Funding_repairs_improvements_and_adaptations_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true
  • beecher2
    beecher2 Posts: 3,677 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    As far as I know, any grants would be to adapt your house for a disability, rather than funding repairs. There is a scheme which will pay the interest on a loan for essential repairs, but I don't think you will qualify.

    Get on to Citizens Advice though - they might help. might be time to think of selling up though if you have no savings behind you - owning a house is an expensive business, especially a 100 year old one.
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,052 Forumite
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    I have to agree that you need to be considering selling up and, hopefully, finding some where else that doesn't need essential repairs.

    However, in the mean time......

    It seems there are no grants available so will have to consider the cheapest way to 'borrow' the money.

    If you have been on income based ESA for 26 weeks then you can apply for a budgeting loan. This will not cover it all as there is a maximum amount for a single person. However, you can use it to reduce your credit card bill. Plus, you are allowed to apply a second time (up to about a limit of £700?) so, in theory you might eventually get the maximum amount. Every time you are awarded it you can pay of your credit card bill.

    Since the budget loan is 0% interest and is deducted from your ESA over 104 weeks, it is probably your cheapest option and will not be such a drain on your weekly income.

    Details here:

  • NYM
    NYM Posts: 4,066 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Combo Breaker First Post
    Have you looked at Foundations UK...

    Home improvement and handyperson service providers are local organisations dedicated to helping older people, people with disabilities, and vulnerable people to live in safety and with dignity in their own homes.

    Services are focused on ensuring that existing housing is fit for purpose and that vulnerable people, predominantly homeowners, are able to continue living independently as long as possible.

    There are currently some 200 home improvement and handyperson service providers in England covering over 80% of local authorities. Locally they may be known as Care & Repair or Staying Put agencies.

    The majority of services are operated by housing associations, a lesser proportion are provided ‘in-house’ by local authorities, while others are small independent organisations, usually with charitable status.

    Together home improvement and handyperson services provide support for over a quarter of a million people every year

    They may be able to offer you some advice...
  • KiKi
    KiKi Posts: 5,377 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Hi - just to add, you say that the bill from the electrician is £2,300, but it sounds like you've not had the work done, yet. So it's a quote rather than a bill, is that right?
    If so, I strongly recommend that you get four or five quotes. I'm sure your electrician is great, but in the position you're in, anything you can do to cut the cost is really important.
    Otherwise it may be a case of selling and buying somewhere outright that's more suitable for you, even it's smaller. :)
    ' <-- See that? It's called an apostrophe. It does not mean "hey, look out, here comes an S".
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    See if there is an Anchor Trust "Staying Put" scheme in your area.

    In the long term, I second the idea of moving somewhere more suitable.
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