More people will be able to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund. A pilot scheme will provide equity loans of up to £40,000 to home owners on low incomes to help them make essential repairs to leaking roofs and building structures. This is often necessary before energy efficiency measures like solid-wall insulation can be installed.
The funding can be used either as a single equity loan or with other existing SNP Government grants to fund more expensive measures like solid wall insulation or a package of energy efficiency works.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the pilot ahead of his attendance at the launch of Under One Roof. The new website will provide free and impartial advice to private flat owners and help them understand their obligations regarding property and shared spaces. He said:
“Making sure everyone has access to a warm and affordable home is a priority for this government, which is why we have committed £500 million over the next four years, tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.”
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said:
“Leaking roofs and poor building structures can drive up energy bills and make them more difficult to heat, but for low income households they can often be too costly to repair. This £10 million scheme will provide households with loans to carry out essential repair work and install energy efficiency improvements. This will help us make homes warmer and easier to heat, with the SNP Government’s record investment already resulting in two fifths of Scottish homes now being in the top three energy efficiency ratings, an increase of 71% since 2010.”
Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of Scottish Federation of Housing Associations added:
“We welcome the announcement of the equity loan scheme. It is extremely important that we invest in energy efficiency to provide affordable warmth and reduce carbon emissions. It is also important to invest in existing buildings and keep them in a good state of repair. We know from our members that it can be a challenge for housing associations to organise repairs and energy efficiency measures in mixed ownership properties, especially tenements with other owners in the stair. This new equity loan fund, coupled with the Under One Roof website, which the SFHA helped sponsor, provide potential solutions to allow owners to fund repairs and energy efficiency improvements.”
Eligible home owners will borrow from the SNP Government to fund repairs and energy efficiency improvements, and repay the loan when the property is sold, they transfer ownership, or they die through the Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme: Equity Loan Scheme. There will be no monthly interest, with the amount repaid linked to the value of the house at the time the loan is paid back.
The Under One Roof website has been written by Annie Flint and John Gilbert, the authors of the Tenement Handbook originally published by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland over 20 years ago. The website will be available at: www.underoneroof.scot