Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Council partnership offers low cost home improvement loans for low earners

LOW interest loans for essential home improvements are being offered to West Somerset residents of all ages who have a low income.
The initiative is the result of a partnership between West Somerset Council and the Wessex Reinvestment Trust, which helps communities to become more sustainable.
Under the scheme, homeowners can borrow from £1,000 to £15,000, depending on the cost of the work, at an interest rate that is fixed at three per cent for the entire lifetime of the loan.
Projects which could be considered for loans include repairs to leaky roofs, replacing boilers and radiators, installing central heating, replacing rotten windows or doors, and updating bathrooms or kitchens more than 20-years-old.
The council’s housing portfolio holder, Councillor Kate Kravis, said: “Interest rates are currently low so it may seem like a good time to borrow from high street lenders to carry out vital home improvements.
“However, these rates are likely to rise again when the economy recovers.
“The beauty of these low cost loans is that they will never rise.
“We also have trustworthy, experienced advisers who will help people choose a scheme that is right for their circumstances.
“The loans can help homeowners of all ages on low incomes to meet the decent homes standard.
“The work is carried out by trusted local tradesmen, and it is inspected by the council to ensure it is completed to a good standard.”
More information about the scheme is available by calling 0845 241 7243 or visiting the Wessex Reinvestment Trust website at www.wessexrt.co.uk.

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