Applying for an HIA grant

We (the council) understand that you are considering applying for grant assistance to carry out adaptation and/or repair works to your home, which may be eligible for Disabled Facilities Funding Assistance and/or Repairs Assistance Funding, administered by Cambs HIA.

Please read these guidance notes before you complete a preliminary enquiry form. Please note this is not a formal application.

These grants are subject to the government's Test of Resources, which means that before any funding is approved you will be required to provide proof of your income and savings/ capital.

If you have a partner living with you, we will also require proof of their income and savings/ capital.

Please bear in mind that this is not an offer of a grant and that any change in your circumstances or to the legislation could affect the final outcome.

If you decide to proceed to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant we will require a formal recommendation from a Community Occupational Therapist.

If you wish to proceed with a Repair Grant or Loan, a council representative will inspect your property to assess what works will be eligible for funding. Where the cost of works plus any fees are more than the amount eligible for a grant/loan, work will be prioritised based on its categorisation on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

Once we have confirmed your eligibility for assistance, we will then make arrangements to visit you and obtain confirmation of your financial status and will assist you in completing an application form.

Cambs HIA

When making the application for a grant you will be offered the services of the Cambs HIA.

Although this service exists primarily to assist elderly and disabled people with preparation of plans, specifications for works, submitting planning and building regulation applications, and seeking competitive quotations for the works, it is available to all those who wish to use the service.

If and when a grant is approved, the agency may also supervise the works on site if you wish.

The cost of this service is 15% of the final cost of the works, and this charge may be eligible for grant assistance.

If you are not eligible for grant assistance and decide to fund the works yourself you can also use the agency to provide this service, but you would be responsible for the full cost of the works plus our fee of 10%.

Application process

Whether you decide to use the agency or not, you will be required to submit a valid application before we can process your application.

One of our caseworkers will make arrangements to visit you to assist with the completion of the form and to collect the relevant financial information.

A valid application consists of the following documents:

1. The completed application form

If you choose not to use the agency then you will be required to submit three estimates for the works from separate contractors.

These should be itemised on the council's schedule of works and be accompanied by the contractor's signed letterhead bearing a written undertaking to carry out the work for the quoted sum.

The contractor submitting the lowest quote will usually be instructed to carry out the work.

If you are using the agency service then we will obtain quotations on your behalf from our approved contractors.

2. Proof of ownership

If you are not using the agency service then you will need to provide us with written proof of your ownership of the property, and confirmation of the length of your ownership and occupation.

This may be in the form of a letter from your solicitor or building society, or if you have the deeds at home we can arrange for the council's legal officer to inspect them.

Alternatively, if you are using the Agency, we will obtain this information for you.

3. Up to date evidence of your financial situation to enable the Test of Resources to be completed. This evidence may comprise of any or all of the following:

  • certified accounts for the most recent three years if you are self employed
  • copies of pay slips for the past year
  • your most recent P60
  • copies of pension or allowance books
  • copies of your most recent bank statements of all accounts held
  • copies of building society pass books or other investment accounts
  • details of numbers of stocks, shares etc. and the companies in which they are held
  • addresses and approximate values of any properties you may own, other than the one for which you are applying for the grant

4. If the work involves new building or major internal changes we shall require two copies of the relevant plans

5 .If you are not using the agency then copies of the Building Regulation approval and planning consent where appropriate will be required.
The fees for these may be considered as part of the grant or loan eligible expense and receipts should be submitted with your application. However if you decide to use the agency service we will obtain these for you.

6. Receipts for any other ancillary fees, for example from architects, structural engineers etc

It would be in your best interests to submit all these documents to us together. They will then be checked and, if correct, your application will be registered as a valid application.

Receipt will be acknowledged and you will be advised of the registration date. If your application is not complete in any respect you will be notified within three weeks so you can make the necessary additions or provide any additional information.

Application timescale

The government has set a target that all applications should be determined within six months from the date of registration.

Cambridge City Council has a target time of four months, and in many cases it may be less.

What happens next?

After you have submitted a preliminary enquiry form the council will apply the government's Test of Resources to the figures you have provided.

We will use these figures to calculate the provisional amount that is regarded as your contribution towards the cost of any works that might be eligible for grant aid.

This is only a provisional figure; the amount of any grant and your contribution can only be accurately assessed when your formal application has been submitted.

Please note that grants cannot be paid for work that has already started or has been carried out.

When assessing the level of grant to be awarded to you, the council will take into account the quotations you have submitted, comparable costs for similar works that have been carried out recently in the area, and your own financial situation.

Once you have received the council's letter of approval you/we may instruct the chosen contractor to commence the approved work.

The work must be done by the chosen contractor. If they are not able to carry out the work you should seek permission form the council before instructing another; failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of the grant.

Should you default in the grant conditions the council may seek to reclaim any payments made to the contractor, directly from you.

Unless you have opted to use the Cambs HIA, you will be responsible for ensuring that the contractor's work is done to a satisfactory standard, and in accordance with the council's schedule.

However, the council retains the right to inspect the work at any time to ensure all requirements are being met.

If you have opted to use the agency service our surveyor will visit the site regularly to supervise the works, and deal with the contractor on your behalf. You will have been asked to sign an agreement for this earlier.

If the council has made any payments over and above the level of the grant, whether in respect of contractor's invoices, fees to the agency service or to outside architects or consultants, you will be invoiced for the amount within 21 days from certified completion.

If your application is not complete in any respect you will be notified within three weeks so you can make the necessary additions or provide any additional information.

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