Council sets cash aside for refurbishment
England's largest local authority landlord has set up a pot of cash to help homeowners and private landlords refurbish their properties.
Birmingham Council has set aside £4 million in its 2008/09 budget from which it can loan money to people who are unable to borrow from mainstream lenders to pay for improvements.
The authority will also offer financial advice to ensure loans are only taken up by those who can afford to meet repayments.
The council's cabinet member for housing, John Lines, said the loans would be aimed at low-income families, older and disabled people.
One kind of product being offered by the council would mean the borrower would only have to pay back the loan when the property was sold.