Scheme of assistance

If you’re carrying out repairs or improvements to your home, you can get advice and practical help from the council through the scheme of assistance.

In some cases you can qualify for a grant or a loan.

The council will have a statement explaining how the scheme works.

How the council can help

The council must help if you:

The council can also help if you're improving, repairing or maintaining a home

The council can help by giving you:

  • information to help carry out repairs

  • advice on managing repairs and improvements, like telling you what work to do and how to contact tradespeople

  • advice on paying for repair work

  • a grant or loan

To contact your local council about their scheme of assistance, find your council's contact details on mygov.scot.

Check if you can apply for a grant or loan

You can apply for a grant or loan if you:

  • own your home

  • own part of your home, through shared ownership or a shared equity scheme

  • rent your home, and meet certain criteria

If you rent your home

You could get a grant or loan for work that's your responsibility according to your tenancy agreement, and has been for at least 2 years. At least one of the following must apply:

  • you need to adapt your home for a disabled person who lives there

  • you need to reinstate a previously adapted house

  • work must be done for the health, safety or security of the occupants – for example, repair work or making your home fire safe

You must get your landlord's permission before applying. If you need to adapt your home, they cannot refuse without a good reason.

Check our advice on your rights if you're disabled and rent your home.

If you're an agricultural or crofting tenant

You can apply if the work counts as an improvement, for which you'd get compensation once your tenancy ends. When you get the compensation, a deduction is made to pay back the grant or loan.

Check our advice on repairs and improvements if you're an agricultural tenant.

How to apply for a grant or loan

You can get an application form from the council.

You’ll have to include plans and estimated costs on your application form. The council may ask you to provide further information to back up your plans.

What happens after you apply

If the council accepts your application, they’ll tell you:

  • what cost they consider reasonable for carrying out the work – this might not cover the full cost of the work

  • how much you’ll need to contribute

  • the terms on which it's offered to you

If the council rejects your application or awards you less money than you need, they must tell you why.

How much you'll get

If your grant or loan application is approved, the amount of money you get depends on how much the council thinks you should contribute towards the cost of the work.

There's a minimum amount that you’re guaranteed to get, depending on the kind of work you’re doing. The council's statement of assistance will say what this is.

Conditions of a grant or loan

Once the work has been done, the property must be:

  • used as a private home

  • your only or main home

  • kept in good repair

The conditions last 10 years for a grant. They can last longer for a loan, depending on the loan term. In this case, the council will let you know how long your conditions last.

If you break any conditions, the council can ask you to pay back the grant or loan plus any interest.

If you sell your home before the conditions have expired, you may need to pay the council back.

If your home is repossessed before the conditions have expired, your lender will pay off the grant or loan and interest, and add the amount to your mortgage debt.

If your application is turned down

If the council turns your application down, they must write to you and explain why.

You can make a complaint to the council if you disagree with their decision.

If you're not happy with the outcome of making a complaint, you can refer it to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Last updated: 15 December 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England