4. Housing for Rent - Capital Funding Guide - Guidance (2022)

1.1Purpose

1.1.1This chapter sets out the procedures and conditions which must be followed by providers progressing schemes for rent, including Affordable Rent and Social Rent. This chapter also sets out eligibility and procedures for repair works to Registered Providers’ existing rental stock.

1.2Context

1.2.1Affordable Rent and Social Rent are forms of low cost rented affordable housing.

1.2.2The following scheme types are included under the Rent heading:

  • New Build including Acquisition & Works, Off the Shelf and Works Only schemes
  • Rehabilitation including Acquisition & Works, Existing Satisfactory, Purchase and Repair and Works Only schemes
  • Re-improvement of provider-owned stock but not Major Repairs. Note that Major Repairs are covered by the Repair chapter of this Guide

For further information on scheme types please refer to Procurement and Scheme Issues, section 3.

1.2.3 Section 31(2) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 requires that when any sub market rent properties funded by Homes England are made available, the landlord must be a Registered Provider and therefore subject to the Regulator of Social Housing’s Regulatory framework and standards.

1.2.4 All homes are expected to be let at the rent listed in the original bid. Where there are to be changes to the rents forecast in the original offer the provider must notify us. Homes England may require a revised offer submission for the scheme as the revised rent may affect the amount of grant payable on a scheme.

1.3 Scheme administration

1.3.1 Homes England’s scheme administration requirements are set out in section 3 of the Programme Management chapter of this guide.

1.3.2 As part of the Affordable Homes Programme 2021 to 2026, Homes England will not be accepting or processing nil grant units (i.e. non-grant funded and those delivered via Section 106 agreements) through its Investment Management System (IMS).

1.4 Right to Acquire

1.4.1 The Right to Acquire provisions of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 apply to all dwellings built or acquired for the social rented sector (including Affordable Rent) with public funding since 1 April 1997, unless exempted. It is a condition of grant funding that providers comply with this legislation. Further details of the Right to Acquire product including property and applicant eligibility, and the legislation can be found in the Right to Acquire chapter of this guide.

1.4.2 Section 181(2) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 requires us to notify grant recipients before giving grant whether schemes are to be regarded as having been publicly funded for Right to Acquire purposes. Homes England will meet this obligation through the delivery contract and by means of an Investment Management System (IMS) notification confirming to providers of Affordable Rent and Social Rent that schemes are treated as publicly funded for the purposes of the Right to Acquire. This notification is available for providers to print for each of their schemes in IMS.

1.5.1 The RtSO is a condition of grant funding for all social and affordable rented homes and as such will only apply to homes that are grant funded through the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) 2021 to 2026, except where a specific exemption applies.

1.5.2 This condition also applies to rented homes funded with recycled grant from a provider’s RCGF but delivered outside the programme.

1.5.3 The RtSO does not apply to nil grant (i.e. non-grant funded) homes, for example, new S106 affordable homes.

1.5.4 The main features of the scheme along with applicant and property eligibility can be found in DLUHC’s Right to Shared Ownership: initial guidance for registered providers. Grant recovery arrangements for the RtSO can be found in the Grant Recovery chapter of this guide.

1.5.5 Information on the application process can be found in the RtSO section of the Shared Ownership chapter of this guide.

2.1 Policy framework

2.1.1 Providers should set Affordable Rents and Social Rents in accordance with the requirements of the government’s Policy Statement on Rents for Social Housing and the Regulator of Social Housing Rent Standard. Both documents provide more information on rents including:

  • rent setting
  • changes to rents (i.e. no more than CPI plus 1% each year)
  • resetting rents for a new tenant or re-letting to an existing tenant
  • property valuations using a method recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

2.1.2 The Rent Standard applies to all Registered Providers including housing associations, local authority Registered Providers and private Registered Providers.

2.1.3 Registered Providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the government and RSH policy statements with regards to the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

2.1.4 Prior to the introduction of the Rent Standard on 1 April 2020, social housing rents were set and managed through the requirements of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. For issues prior to 1 April 2020 and the introduction of the Rent Standard registered providers may need to consult the Act and associated regulations to establish how the previous rules applied to their stock.

2.1.5 Providers should seek their own legal advice, where appropriate, regarding the application of the government’s policy statement and the Rent Standard when they consider it necessary to do so. In addition, please note the guidance produced by RICS may be subject to change over time.

2.2 The grant agreement

2.2.1 Paragraph 3.10(a) of the Rent Standard permits Affordable Rent to be charged where the property in question is provided by a registered provider pursuant to a housing supply delivery agreement between that provider and Homes England and the accommodation is permitted by that agreement to be let at an Affordable Rent.

2.2.2 Registered providers delivering new homes with grant funding through the AHP 2021 to 26 have a Grant Agreement with Homes England which is a housing supply delivery agreement to charge an Affordable Rent.

2.2.3 For registered providers delivering new homes for rent outside of the AHP 2021 to 2026 (i.e. without a Grant Agreement), Homes England is developing its approach to seeking assurance before providing a housing supply delivery agreement permitting a provider to charge an Affordable Rent. More information about this new approach and the information required by Home England to decide whether to provide an agreement will follow in due course. This chapter will be updated when this approach is finalised. In the meantime, questions about this new approach can be sent to AHPFAQ@homesengland.gov.uk.

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2.2.4 This new approach for homes delivered outside of the AHP 2021 to 26 (for example, new S106 affordable homes or new homes funded with grant from a provider’s Recycled Capital Grant Fund) will only apply to new supply and not the conversion of existing homes from Social Rent to Affordable Rent.

3.1 General

3.1.1 Affordable Rent property is made available for rent up to a maximum of 80% of the local market rent (inclusive of service charges) for an equivalent home. Affordable Rents are typically higher than Social Rents. The intention behind this flexibility is to enable properties let on this basis to generate additional capacity for investment in new affordable housing.

3.1.2 Allocations and tenure arrangements for Affordable Rent homes are expected to comply with the requirements of the Tenancy Standard and Registered Providers will be under the same statutory and regulatory obligations as they are when allocating properties for Social Rent. For further information see section 4, Tenancy arrangements.

3.2 Requirements - rents

3.2.1 See section 2.1 above.

3.2.2 Housing for vulnerable and older people often includes a range of services to support the particular needs of the client group. When setting an Affordable Rent level for housing for vulnerable and older people, the gross market rent comparables should be based on similar types and models of service provision, ideally within the local area. Where there are insufficient comparables for similar types of provision in the local area, valuers should be asked to identify comparables from other areas and extrapolate their best estimate of what the gross market rent would be. Registered Providers should then set the initial rent at up to 80% of that level. The Policy Statement on Rents for Social Housing provides a definition of the term ‘supported housing’.

3.2.3 An Affordable Rent should be no lower than the potential formula rent (see section 4 – Social Rent) for the property. In cases where 80% of the weekly market rent (inclusive of service charges) is lower than the ‘formula rent’, the formula rent (exclusive of service charges) constitutes a floor for the rent to be charged. For further information providers should refer to the Policy Statement on Rents for Social Housing and the Rent Standard.

4.1 General

4.1.1 Social Rent is low cost rental social housing that is made available at rent levels based on a formula set by the government, which calculates a ‘formula rent’ for each property using property values and local earnings. Formula rents are exclusive of any service charges. An aim of this formula-based approach is to ensure that similar rents are charged for similar social rent properties.

4.1.2 Since June 2018, funding is available through the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) 2016 to 2021 for Social Rent as a tenure in areas of high affordability pressures as defined in the Addendum to the SOAHP 2016 to 2021.

4.1.3 The Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) 2021 to 2026 continues to provide funding for Social Rent within areas of high affordability pressure, or elsewhere provided that the grant required is not higher than it would be for Affordable Rent. Please see this list areas of high affordability pressure, defined as areas of high affordability pressure for the AHP 2021 to 2026 as set out by government.

4.1.4 Specialist housing schemes can be let at Social Rent even if they are outside areas of high affordability. For any other Social Rent provision outside areas of high affordability, it will be for Registered Providers to demonstrate through evidence that there are exceptional reasons why Social Rent provision should be provided in preference to Affordable Rent.

4.1.5 Allocations and tenure arrangements for Social Rent homes are expected to comply with the requirements of the Tenancy Standard and Registered Providers will be under the same statutory and regulatory obligations as they are when allocating properties for Affordable Rent. For further information see section 5, Tenancy arrangements.

4.2 Requirements - rents

4.2.1 See section 2.1 above.

5.1 General

5.1.1 The Regulator of Social Housing’s Tenancy Standard sets the outcomes and expectations for Registered Providers of social housing to let their homes to tenants in a fair, transparent and efficient way. This standard is one of the 4 consumer standards set by the Regulator of Social Housing. More information about all of the regulatory standards can be found on their website.

5.2 Requirements

5.2.1 In accordance with the Tenancy Standard Registered Providers should offer tenancies or terms of occupation which are compatible with the purpose of the accommodation, the needs of individual households, the sustainability of the community, and the efficient use of their housing stock.

5.2.2 Registered Providers should also meet all applicable statutory and legal requirements in relation to the form and use of tenancy agreements or terms of occupation.

5.3 Ending a tenancy

5.3.1 The Tenancy Standard requires Registered Providers to publish clear and accessible policies which outline their approach to tenancy management, including interventions to sustain and end tenancies. Where Registered Providers choose to let homes on fixed term tenancies (including under Affordable Rent terms), they are required to offer timely and reasonable advice and assistance to those tenants to help them find alternative accommodation.

For further guidance please see below.

Registered Providers may wish to consider a range of ‘end of tenancy’ options depending on the needs of the household.

The Regulator of Social Housing’s Tenancy Standard says that where Registered Providers choose to let homes on fixed term tenancies (Including under Affordable Rent terms), they should offer reasonable advice and assistance to those tenants where that tenancy ends.

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Where it would be affordable and sustainable for the tenant, one option might be to sell the Affordable Rent property to the tenant(s) on shared ownership terms to assist them into Affordable Home Ownership. Whilst such a sale would be considered a voluntary sale on shared ownership terms, Registered Providers are encouraged to refer to the shared ownership chapter for further details of how Homes England’s shared ownership product works. In such cases, the sales receipt including the appropriate proportion of Homes England funding (see section 4 of the Grant Recovery chapter), will be expected to be reinvested in the further new supply of affordable housing or be repaid.

5.4 Grant recovery

5.4.1 The disposal of Affordable Rent and Social Rent homes on the open market, or voluntarily to a tenant on shared ownership terms, is deemed a relevant event for grant recovery purposes. Registered Providers should credit the appropriate grant amount to their Recycled Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) in the normal way, and ring fence these amounts to be spent on further new supply of affordable housing.

5.4.2 For further information on grant recovery including relevant events, calculating the grant to be recovered, and RCGF administration refer to the Grant Recovery chapter of this guide. Registered Providers who are unsure of the grant recovery consequences of the occurrence of any relevant event should seek further advice from Homes England by emailing grant_notifications@homesengland.gov.uk.

5.4.3 Registered Providers must also refer to the Regulator of Social Housing’s notifications guidance on disposals.

6.1 General

6.1.1 Providers must maintain accurate and complete records both for reporting and audit purposes and this section sets out our requirements.

6.1.2 For general requirements see the Programme Management chapter of this guide.

6.1.3 All Affordable Rent and Social Rent lettings must be recorded on a Continuous Recording (CORE) lettings log.

7.1 General

7.1.1 Both the SOAHP 2016 to 2021 and AHP 2021 to 2026 aim to increase the new supply of affordable housing and, as such, funding for works to existing affordable rented housing stock will be made only in the most exceptional circumstances. Please see guidance below for further information.

For example Homes England has previously made funding available for this purpose to almshouse charities to ensure that these homes are up to a standard that allows them to remain habitable. In particular, where the individual charities do not have access to the necessary resources to undertake the work.

7.1.2 Homes England will usually not agree to the use of recycled grant for the funding of repairs and we do not provide funding for works to local authority owned property.

7.2 Existing housing stock

7.2.1 Works to existing rental stock consists of:

  • Major Repairs
  • Re-improvements

7.2.2 Major repairs

As a general rule Homes England expects Registered Providers to fund repairs to their existing stock through their business plans. However, we will in exceptional cases consider funding major repairs in respect of eligible properties (see section 6.5), which are essential for the property to remain habitable; and where the Registered Provider can demonstrate it does not have its own resources to undertake the work.

7.2.3 For guidance on deciding whether work is classed as major repairs please see guidance below.

Major repairs are repairs that do not fundamentally change the nature of the property in a way that would enable a landlord to charge a different rent.

Even if the tenant is required to be rehoused on an interim basis whilst the major repairs are completed, it is expected that the tenant would return to the property on the same tenancy terms.

7.2.4 Where a Registered Provider is able to demonstrate it cannot use its own resources (including its Recycled Capital Grant Fund), and is unable to afford to pay for the major repairs by taking out a loan, the cost of the works may be covered by Homes England grant. However, any excessive or non-qualifying costs must be paid for by the provider. Please see sections 6.7 to 6.11 for details of eligible and ineligible works.

7.2.5 Re-improvements

Re-improvements are works to homes in the Registered Provider’s ownership which were originally delivered with public sector funding. The re-improvement work can be improvements or conversion, and be sufficient to justify a change in the rent to be charged. If no change to the rent is justifiable, then the work is likely to be classed as Major Repairs. Whilst re-improvements are works to a Registered Provider’s existing stock they are not classified as major repairs. T he requirements and criteria for re-improvements are detailed at Procurement and Scheme Issues section 3.3.

7.3 Key features

7.3.1 Where Homes England makes an exception to consider funding major repairs the following characteristics will apply:

  • Fixed grant - grant is only available to cover the amount that the provider has evidenced they cannot cover themselves. Once funding is agreed, the grant payable is fixed and will not be increased if costs subsequently increase.

  • Payment - grant is required to be claimed and paid following practical completion. Where payment on completion would put a provider in severe financial difficulty, a limited facility to release payment in tranches may be available. We will consider individual requests on a case by case basis.

  • Single building contract - in certain circumstances a provider may undertake a range of repair and improvement activities under a single building contract. In considering grant funding on an exceptional basis, we may favourably consider applications from the provider for the eligible works in such combined schemes where it is practicable and cost effective for the works to be carried out at the same time.

  • Technical scrutiny - we will scrutinise the proposed works to ensure that they:

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    • are realistic
    • are reasonable
    • represent value for money

Depending on the degree of scrutiny at offer stage Homes England may require supporting documents to be submitted

  • Eligible properties - not all properties are eligible for major repairs funding. Details of eligible and ineligible properties are described in sections 6.5 and 6.6 of this chapter. As any grant funding is only available in exceptional circumstances, providers must account for and fund their own major repair’ provision for all of their properties within their business plans

  • Eligible works - Categories of work which we may consider funding in exceptional circumstances are set out in section 6.7 of this chapter

  • Non-qualifying costs - not all works and costs are eligible for grant funding. Where ineligible such works will need to be funded by the provider. The term non-qualifying cost relates to any capital costs of ineligible works.

7.4 Asset management

7.4.1 Registered Providers should deliver effectively managed resources as expected in the Regulator of Social Housing’s Governance and Financial Viability Standard. This will involve a business plan which covers:

  • The management of assets
  • Obtaining the finance required to maintain assets
  • An assessment of the risks to delivering the plan

Any queries should be referred to the Regulator of Social Housing.

7.5 Eligible properties

7.5.1 Should Homes England consider that an exceptional case exists all rental properties are eligible for major repairs funding if they were funded under pre-1988 Housing Act procedures, except for those listed at paragraph 6.6.1.

7.5.2 The above includes property funded under the pre-1988 Housing Act Supported Housing Procedures which were eligible for Special Needs Management Allowance / Supported Housing Management Grant and were funded by Housing Association Grant.

7.6 Ineligible properties

7.6.1 The following types of properties are ineligible for major repairs grant funding:

  • Temporary Social Housing schemes
  • Any property transferred from a public sector body to a Registered Provider on or after 1 April 1989
  • Any property owned by a local authority
  • Properties produced out of the following Registered Provider funds:
    • Disposal Proceeds Fund
    • Recycled Capital Grant Fund
  • All pilot mixed funding schemes approved in 1987/88 and 1988/89 including Challenge, Job Movers and Homeless Families schemes
  • Properties funded under the Tariff, Non-Tariff, and Cash Programme procedures (ie, funded after April 1989), EXCEPT supported housing schemes which also received a Special Needs Management Allowance / Supported Housing Management Grant approval under the Special Needs Funding and Supported Housing Arrangements introduced in April 1991 and 1995
  • All grant funded Affordable Home Ownership properties
  • Properties developed by the Registered Provider without any form of public subsidy (such as Business Expansion Schemes (please see definition in the Glossary), market rent schemes and privately funded home ownership schemes) unless the properties are let at Affordable Rent or Social Rent

7.6.2 Large Scale Voluntary Transfer landlords that received stock transfers prior to 31 March 1996 are not eligible in principle to receive major repairs funding regardless of when these properties were originally funded.

7.7 Major Repairs - Eligible Works

7.7.1 Should Homes England consider on an exceptional basis that it would be appropriate to fund major repairs, the following sections define the types of work that would normally be acceptable.

7.7.2 The repaired or replaced systems and components paid for by major repairs funding must have a (remaining) life of at least 15 years, once works are completed.

7.8 Establishing eligibility

7.8.1 It is not possible to give a definitive list of works that might qualify for funding, and Registered Providers should discuss plans with their lead contact in Homes England’s Provider Management team in the first instance to establish the likelihood of their proposed works being eligible for funding. For an example of the difficulty in providing clear rules please see below.

An example of where the same work may, or may not, qualify for major repairs funding is the replacement of kitchen base units.

The routine replacement of units, for example following wear and tear, is considered routine or cyclical maintenance and therefore not eligible for major repairs funding.

However, where those units have been damaged beyond reasonable repair and are required to be replaced as a consequence of a failed damp proof course (which in itself is eligible for major repair funding), the cost of their replacement could qualify for funding.

Therefore, the main ‘grey area’ to be considered is whether the need for the repairs arises as a direct consequence of something else rather than from routine maintenance needs.

7.9 Categories of work

7.9.1 For guidance on what type of works we consider essential for the property to remain habitable please see below.

Major repairs work can be:

  • Major works arising from structural or environmental deterioration;
  • Replacement or repairs to services or features; or
  • Works arising from legislative changes occurring after completion of the original development or rehabilitation work

In some instances tenants will need to be temporarily rehoused to enable major repairs to be carried out. The necessity to vacate properties can be an indication of the urgency or priority of the works.

7.9.2 The standards and types of major repair works are:

  • Structural works
  • Secondary elements
  • Site works
  • Service installations
  • Investigations
  • Consequential works
  • Emergency repairs

Structural works

These are defined as works essential to safeguard the basic functions of stability and weather resistance in the main structural elements of a dwelling, for example floors, walls and roofs. Examples of major repairs works falling within this category include:

  • Underpinning and reconstruction of foundations
  • Rebuilding load-bearing walls including retaining walls
  • Damp proof course works and associated reduction of external ground levels
  • Treatment of wet or dry rot or insect attack
  • Tanking or lining to prevent moisture penetration
  • Lining and insulation in cases of severe condensation
  • Replacing roof/floor timbers, roof decks and covering
  • Re-pointing, re-rendering and re-cladding external load-bearing walls

Secondary elements

Extensive works (but not cyclical maintenance) to secondary elements of the structural envelope of a dwelling such as:

  • Stairs
  • Non-load-bearing walls
  • Balconies
  • Windows and external doors
  • Chimneys
  • Parapets and gutters

But excluding:

  • Internal doors
  • Fittings
  • Finishes and equipment

These works must be essential to preserve the weather resistance of the building or the security of the tenants and / or their possessions.

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Site works

Site works around dwellings that are essential to the safety, security and protection of the tenants. Examples of works in this category include:

  • Replacement or reconstruction of unstable boundary walls, fences and retaining walls
  • Replacement or reconstruction of steps, paving, hard standings, unadopted footpaths and roads damaged by subsidence or collapse
  • Removal of trees affected by disease or storm
  • Demolition of unsafe out-buildings including garages

Service installations

These are works to building services that have reached the end of their useful life such that the basic amenities of sanitation, health and safety in a dwelling could be seriously impaired. Works in this category comprise renewal of installations including:

  • Gas, water and electricity supplies
  • Drainage above and below ground
  • Heating and ventilation (in cases of severe condensation renewal or provision of heating, ventilation, dehumidification and insulation in accordance with the Building Research Establishment Digest 297 will be eligible)
  • Lifts; fire alarm, warden call, security and emergency lighting systems
  • External windows and doors replacement
  • Certain types of external works e.g. resurfacing roads and paved areas

Investigations

Works required to investigate, report, expose and prepare for any of the above categories of major repairs works can be approved by us. This category of works also includes preventive treatments to areas under threat as a result of defects undergoing major repairs.

Consequential and other works

Works that are consequential upon major repairs works in the above categories. This includes works of reinstatement or making good to finishes and fittings (including decorations, internal doors and equipment) that have unavoidably been damaged to an extent that has a significant, adverse effect on their function or longevity in the course of, or in connection with, major repairs works.

Health and safety

From time to time suspected health hazards arise from particular materials used in buildings. In addition, changing circumstances may lead to measures being required to address personal safety concerns of tenants within the building. Proposals appropriate to dealing with such cases as major repairs can only be assessed on their merits. Registered Providers should consult their lead contact in Homes England’s Provider Management team in the first instance.

Damage not covered by insurance claims

In exceptionally inclement weather conditions such as flood or storm, buildings can suffer unusual damage. Where such risks are uninsurable, Homes England will give consideration to the use of major repairs funding in cases requiring extensive renewal.

Emergency major repairs

In some circumstances substantial repairs will be necessary because of extensive vandalism, damage or neglect by tenants. Where the costs of such works are not recoverable through either insurance or charges to the tenant they can be considered by for major repairs funding. In such cases Homes England will need to be satisfied that the Registered Provider has taken all reasonable steps to secure the property and / or to recover any costs.

Emergency major repairs are works carried out as a matter of the utmost urgency, such as on receipt of a Dangerous Structure Notice from a local authority or health authority. As with other major repairs, providers are expected to explore all aspects of liability. Emergency work must be strictly limited to what is immediately necessary and, where possible, permanent reinstatement must be carried out as a separate scheme.

Where possible, Homes England will actively assist with emergencies by giving in principle verbal approval, prior to full approval of any scheme.

7.10 Additional major repairs provision

7.10.1 Previously referred to as minor miscellaneous works, the following are also classified as major repairs where such work to Registered Providers’ homes is required to meet statutory requirements and address health hazards. The following are examples of the types of works that in exceptional circumstances may be eligible for such funding:-

  • Asbestos removal
  • Fire Precautions
  • Dealing with lead in drinking water
  • Dealing with radon

7.10.2 Asbestos works

Funding can be paid to cover the cost of the treatment of hazards arising from asbestos in building materials.

7.10.3 For guidance on how we will appraise the proposed works costs, please see below. This will enable schemes to be submitted and evaluated by Homes England under a common set of criteria.

The list below contains information on asbestos used in the manufacture of domestic consumer products such as kitchen appliances and heating equipment and makes a number of key points which must be satisfied:

  • Dangers from asbestos in buildings are likely to arise only when asbestos is damaged, either accidentally or during maintenance or repair
  • In general, undisturbed materials in good condition present little risk but once the presence of asbestos material has been determined it is important to distinguish the type of asbestos and the potential for fibre release
  • Asbestos materials which are sound, undamaged and not releasing dust must be undisturbed. A system of management must be introduced involving regular inspection and labelling
  • Frequently, the most appropriate action will be to leave the material in place and to seal or encapsulate it
  • When it is not possible to seal an asbestos material effectively and it is likely to release dust, the Registered Provider must seriously consider removing it completely
  • It will generally be more cost effective to undertake work on asbestos as part of a programme of general refurbishment or maintenance than to undertake such work separately. Any programme of work on asbestos must therefore take account of other planned work and factors such as the availability of suitable contractors and the temporary re-accommodation of tenants whilst work is being carried out. It is important that there is appropriate communication and liaison with tenants.

Asbestos removal must be performed only by licensed contractors. Demolition involving any form of asbestos is subject to relevant health and safety legislation. A sbestos waste is classified as a controlled waste to be disposed of only at licensed sites.

7.10.4 Fire precautions

These are works recommended by the relevant Fire Authority to upgrade existing fire precautionary measures, or to install new services as defined by the Fire Authority. Registered Providers should follow the professional advice of the Fire Authority, although they are not strictly obliged in statute to do so.

7.10.5 Lead in drinking water

Funding can be provided to cover the costs of either replacing or installing new pipe work due to the presence of lead in drinking water. In certain circumstances, the only solution to this problem will be to carry out replacement works of varying degrees. In many cases, attendant health risks associated with lead will be of paramount importance. Eligible works include the replacement, installation or re-routing of pipe work.

7.10.6 For further information please refer to the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s (DWI) A-Z search facility.

7.10.7 Radon

Radon is a natural radioactive gas that results from the decay of small amounts of uranium present in soils and rocks. Where the gas seeps out of the ground into the open air there is little or no danger, but where it escapes from underlying soil into dwellings a build up of radon could become a health hazard. Radon has no taste, smell or colour and special equipment is needed for its detection.

For detailed information prior to any action, Registered Providers are advised to seek guidance from Public Health England. Public Health England provides advice on matters of radiation protection and has carried out various surveys in order to monitor levels of Radon. Further advice can also be found on the Building Research Establishment website.

7.10.8 The cost of remedial works to existing homes contaminated by Radon will be eligible for funding, subject to the Registered Provider obtaining a survey report from the Health Protection Agency indicating that the remedial works are necessary. Only survey reports from this Agency will be considered for eligibility purposes. Where they consider that a radon survey of an existing home is unwarranted, funding will not be available.

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7.11 Ineligible works

7.11.1 The following are not eligible for major repairs funding:

  • Re-improvements (see Procurement and Scheme Issues section 3.3 for guidance on funding for re-improvements)
  • Day to day maintenance
  • Cyclical maintenance
  • Aids and adaptations
  • Works required because of the provider’s neglect and inefficiency

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