The Scottish Government has made it possible for more people to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund.
The pilot scheme in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire 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 – work which is often necessary before energy efficiency measures like EWI can be installed.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the pilot, commenting:
“Making sure everyone has access to a warm and affordable home is a priority for this Government which is why we have committed half a billion pounds over the next four years, meaning over £1 billion by 2021, to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.
“We know 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 our 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.”
David Bookbinder, Director of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, said:
“It has always been clear that equity loan schemes offered by commercial companies won’t be attractive to owners. We therefore warmly welcome this Scottish Government pilot initiative which offers a really good deal for owners who have some equity in their property but can’t afford to pay regular loan interest.
“As well as facing the challenge of dealing with energy efficiency and other works in mixed tenure blocks, a number of community based housing associations would also like to work with their local council to tackle fully private tenements which are in poor condition and an increasing blight on the area. Widening the range of financial options for owners can only increase the chances of making this happen.
“GWSF very much hopes that the scheme can be expanded across Scotland after this pilot in three council areas.”
For more information on SEEP (Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme) Equity Loan Scheme , visit the Energy Savings Trust website.