Home improvement scheme extended
Initiative helps older people make repairs to their homes
AN innovative, ‘lifechanging’ home improvement scheme, which has operated successfully in the Chiltern District for seven years, has been extended to residents in the South Bucks District.
The Flexible Home Improvement Loan Scheme aims to provide an affordable means of helping the over-60s maintain their homes, and therefore remain warm, safe and comfortable in their own properties for as long as possible.
Widow June Rogers had lived in her Holmer Green home for nearly 50 years.
Her husband died almost 22 years ago and over time their cherished family property began to show signs of needing some costly updating. The 46-year-old boiler was constantly threatening to break down, the original Crittall windows no longer kept out the cold, the guttering and soffits were well past their best.
“Without the money to do the repairs, Mrs Rogers feared her only option was to sell up and move before she really felt ready.
By chance she heard about Chiltern’s Flexible Home Improvement Loan Scheme and called for advice.
Before long she had a new boiler installed and a few months later in went new windows, gutters and soffits.
She said: “I’d recommend this wonderful scheme. The application process is simple, I was helped through it.
“Everything was explained in a way I understood and there was no pressure.”
Sylvia Jones has twice used the scheme for work on her Amersham home. Initially she and her husband had windows replaced a few years ago.
They opted to pay off the loan and once it was cleared they borrowed again to revamp their 30-year-old kitchen and utility area to provide a modern kitchen and a downstairs toilet.
Mrs Jones said: “I highly recommend this scheme. It’s good for elderly people. When you’re on a pension you really don’t have much money to do everything and as you get older your needs change and you need to adapt your home.
“The work we’ve had done has made a big difference to our quality of life, as well as helping our property hold its value. We prefer to pay off the loans on a monthly basis, it suits us – but the scheme is so flexible, people can choose whichever option is best for them. It’s fantastic.”
The scheme is not means tested but applicants have to be home owners, over 60 years of age and have sufficient equity in the property.
For more information call 01494 732 016, email firstname.lastname@example.org. uk or housing@chiltern. gov.uk or visit www. so u t h b u c k s . g o v. u k / article/5660/FlexibleHome-ImprovementLoans or www.chiltern. go v. u k / a r t i c l e / 1 8 1 0 / Flexible-HomeImprovement-Loans.
‘Fantastic’: £%Sylvia Jones and husband Albert with loans officer Dawn Howse