Homeowners to be lent cash for loft conversions
A council is offering homeowners up to £30,000 to carry out loft conversions in a bid to tackle overcrowding.
Luton Council believes it is one of the first local authorities to set up such a scheme, and is putting aside a ‘nominal sum’ of £100,000 for the initiative in 2012/13.
The loan will have to be repaid when the property is sold, and will be secured against the home in the same way as a mortgage.
The council agreed to set up the scheme at an executive meeting last week. Homeowners will have to meet a range of criteria to qualify, including:
- The house must be 30 years old or more
- The applicant must have owned/resided in the property for a minimum of three years
- The property must meet the decent homes standard
- The property must be overcrowded by the ‘bedroom standard’ (there are not enough bedrooms to avoid ‘undesirable’ sharing)
- Applicants must also be in receipt of one of a list of benefits, including housing benefits, council tax benefit, income support and jobseekers allowance.
On completion the properties much not be overcrowded, and there should be one toilet and bathroom for every five people.
Councillor Tom Shaw told the local newspaper: ‘We are the first council in the country as far as I am aware to offer this kind of scheme for loft conversions.
‘It’s a really innovative new plan which will hopefully tackle Luton’s overcrowding problems.’