This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Handyperson grants

This content applies to England & Wales

Handyperson grants are discretionary grants available for older, disabled or vulnerable people to carry out minor repairs or adaptations in the home.

The purpose of the grant is to fund minor works that can assist older, disabled or vulnerable people to maintain independent living.

Home improvement agencies

Most areas have a home improvement agency (HIA), which has been set up to provide a wide variety of services to this client group. The local HIA will usually be the point of access for handyperson grants. The service is primarily offered to owner-occupiers, but in some areas tenants and licensees can also access assistance. Details of local HIAs are available from Foundations. Some local authorities provide their own handyperson service, in some areas another agency may provide the service.

Communities and Local Government has published its final report on handyperson services, including the benefits of such services, the process of setting up the service and key issues for service providers.

Type of work

The type of work covered can include:

  • minor maintenance and repairs (eg unblocking toilets, changing light bulbs)
  • minor adaptations
  • accident prevention work (eg installing grab rails, securing loose carpets and rugs)
  • improving security (eg installing a more secure lock, door chains, spy holes)
  • fire safety (eg fitting smoke alarms, checking electric blankets)
  • gardening.

Cost

The charge, if any, for the service will depend upon the work carried out and the policy of the HIA or local authority. Possible approaches to service charges include:

  • no charge
  • charges dependent on means-testing
  • charges limited to the amount of the grant available
  • charges made for materials, but not for labour.

Accessing the service

Usually it is possible for the client group, or a friend or family member, to request a grant directly or request that work be carried out. It is also common for agencies to make a referral – overwhelmingly this is made by occupational therapists or social services. Which other agencies can make a referral will depend upon local policies.

Wales

Information about a similar service to assist owner-occupiers in Wales is available from Care and Repair Cymru.

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