Private sector grant helps fund home improvements in Argyll and Bute
More vulnerable people have been able to remain independently in their homes throughout Argyll and Bute and much-needed improvements have been made to existing private housing stock, thanks to the council-managed Private Sector Housing Grant (PSHG).
Around 70% of £421,000 allocated this year was used on adaptations that helped people with a disability remain at home safely. These changes were made whether the homes were privately owned or rented.
Once assessed by an Occupational Therapist, adaptation grants are awarded at 100% of the cost to people who are in receipt of income support, income-based JSA, Universal Credit, Pension Guarantee Credit or income-based ESA. Those individuals not in receipt of any of these benefits are entitled to 80% grant assistance for OT approved adaptations.
Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee also heard last week how the PSHG plays an important part in levering in significant additional funding from other sources to maintain and improve existing housing stock throughout Argyll and Bute.
Conservation Area Renewal Schemes and Townscape Heritage Initiatives have benefited from PSHG funding and have led to significant improvements in properties in Campbeltown, Rothesay, Inveraray and Dunoon. Additional contributions have been made by the buildings’ owners. These have brought both homes and businesses back into productive use, to the benefit of the local economy.
Projects funded by private owners, ACHA and PSHG have brought about improvements to housing stock and outdoor space in both Oban and Helensburgh.
Councillor Robin Currie, policy lead for economy and rural growth, said: “This is a fantastic example of partnership working with the best interests of residents and businesses in Argyll and Bute at its heart.
“Housing Services staff work effectively to administer a fund of over £1m. They work in partnership with property owners, other council services and other external agencies as appropriate to ensure that the maximum added value is delivered in all common repairs carried out in Argyll and Bute.
“The team helps owners to access other funding streams such as Home Energy Efficiency Programme grants and Energy Efficiency Equity Loans to add value to the projects. These PSHG enabled projects result in significant work for the construction industry in the local authority area, many of whom are local businesses.”