Home im­prove­ment scheme ex­tended

Ini­tia­tive helps older peo­ple make re­pairs to their homes

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

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 hous­ing@south­bucks.gov. 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

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