Thursday, 24 September 2009

Help for ‘Houseproud’ people

Over-sixties and disabled people who need to make improvements to their homes can now do so without dealing with unscrupulous loan companies.

The ‘Houseproud’ scheme gives practical help and advice on repairs, improvements and adaptations and helps with finding reliable tradespeople. The scheme also gives advice on getting finance, including no-risk equity release loans.

The scheme is run by Monmouthshire County Council in partnership with the Home Improvement Trust.

John Parfitt, Monmouthshire County Council’s Housing Renewals Manager, said:

“The credit crunch may have affected house prices but many people are still thought to be ‘asset rich but income poor’ - this is never truer than for the over-sixties or disabled people.

“Many older homeowners or householders that include a disabled person have a real need to repair, improve or adapt where they live. However, the prospect of having building work done is daunting enough without the dangers of cowboy builders and concerns over how to pay for the work; so many people are put off the idea entirely.

“Suitable applicants can now get access to building society backed funds and help from the council in obtaining suitable quotes from builders and the council will supervise the work through to completion.

Councillor Brian Hood, Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“While the scheme’s not suitable for everyone, there will be many who it can help and I would encourage anyone who is sixty or over, or anyone who has a disabled person in the family, to give Houseproud a call and see what it can do for them.”

“With Houseproud, some people will find peace of mind in a guarantee of no repossession and a guarantee of no negative equity, subject to status. A further benefit is that Houseproud can liaise with the Department of Work and Pensions to ensure that any support which might be available to cover the costs of the loan is obtained.”

Calls the Houseproud service free on 0800 783 7569 or visit


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