GRANTS FOR MOVING INTO A COUNCIL HOUSE IN THE UK | February 2024
Grants for moving into a council house in the UK

February 2024

Grants For Moving Into A Council House In The UK 

In February 2024

In this article, we will look at what grants you can access if you are going to become a council tenant by moving into a council house or struggling and needing some money to survive.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.

How to find a grant from your local council?

Most local councils in the UK offer grants to help people with their financial situation. It is not just available to council tenants or people that are on housing benefit.

The specific grants available can change depending on which council area you live in, so it is important to do some research and find out what grants are available in your local authority.

It is also possible to access funds from national organisations such as housing charities or government departments. Contacting your local citizen’s advice bureau or other relevant services is helpful when seeking additional funding opportunities.

How much would a grant cover?

The amount of money a grant can provide for moving into a council house varies but typically ranges between £500 and £5,000.

This money can be used to cover rent deposits or purchase furniture or white goods for your new home.

It is important to note that many councils will not give out grants if you are already in arrears or have any outstanding debts with the council. Getting all of these matters worked through before applying for a grant is advisable.

Council housing grants that can be made available?

Here is a list of council house grants that you can apply for to help you with your council property. 

The Social House Program grants

This is useful for home improvements and gives you up to £3000 for purchasing household equipment such as furniture, white goods and other household items.

The Homelessness Reduction Program

This provides a grant of up to £3,000 towards moving expenses.

The Council House Swap grant

This is available to those wanting to move due to overcrowding or needing access to essential services. It provides a grant of up to £1000 for the cost associated with exchanging council housing.

Rent deposit grants

These are available for those needing assistance paying their deposits on new property occupancy and can provide up to £1500 in rental deposit aid.

Council house repairs grants

These can cover repair and maintenance costs such as windows, doors and heating systems up to the value of £5000.

The Access to Home grant

This offers up to £5000 for those needing adaptations and improvements to their home, such as wheelchair access, stair lifts and grab rails.

The Energy Saving Program

This can provide grants of up to £4000 for insulation, lighting and other works that will help reduce energy costs.

How do I apply for a grant?

The requirements to apply for a grant depend on the organisation and type of grant you are applying for, so carefully read through the rules before submitting anything.

Before applying for a grant, ensure you have all the necessary documentation. This might include evidence of income, savings or need. In addition, be mindful of deadlines when submitting applications; many grants will have specific dates by which they must be received. 

To apply for a grant, visit your local council or authorities’ website to see what is available and begin the process online.

apply for a grant

What is a community care grant?

This is an alternative option for you to consider.

Community Care Grants are available to help people in need with the cost of essential items or services, including moving into a council house.

This grant is less widely available than regular grants but could be an option for those who cannot access other forms of assistance.

Contact your local council to learn more about this grant type and how you can apply.

"Most local councils in the UK offer grants to help people with their financial situation. It is not just available to council tenants or people that are on housing benefit."

What can a community care grant help with?

A community care grant can help you with a variety of situations and help you get your household essentials. This could include:

  • Buying furniture

  • Paying for white goods

  • Moving costs

  • Essential household repairs

  • Adaptations and improvements to your home, such as wheelchair access or stair lifts.

community care grant help

It is always essential to read the terms and conditions of the grant carefully before applying so that you are fully aware of what it covers and how much you can receive. This will ensure that you get the most out of the grant.

Who can obtain a community care grant?

Community Care Grants are available to those in need and who meet certain criteria, such as being on a low income or having a disability.

Please contact your local council or authority to find out if you are eligible for this type of grant. They will be able to provide you with information about the requirements and how to apply.

Once you have read through the terms and conditions of the Community Care Grant, and if you think that you are eligible, it is important that you complete the application form correctly. This may include submitting evidence of income or proof of address.

The Local Authority will then assess your application and advise you on whether you have been accepted for the grant. They can also provide support throughout this process if needed.

Who cannot get a community care grant?

If you do not fit into any of the categories below, you are not eligible for a community care grant:

  • If you are over 60 years of age

  • If you are in full-time education or training

  • If you have been refused benefits or DHP in the last 12 months

  • If you are already receiving help from another source (e.g. charitable organisations)

  • Those who own their own property

If you are unsure about your eligibility for this grant, contact your local council or authority to find out more.

Expenses a community care grant

Expenses a community care grant can cover?

A Community Care Grant can help cover a range of costs, such as:

  • Furniture and white goods

  • Removal or storage expenses

  • Essential home repairs

  • Adaptations and improvements to your home, like wheelchair access, stair lifts and grab rails

  • essential items such as clothes or school uniforms; and

  • Any additional services that may be required.

Expenses a community care grant cannot cover?

Unfortunately, there are some expenses that a community care grant cannot cover. It cannot be used for items such as those listed below:

  • Rent or mortgage payments

  • Alcohol, cigarettes or other recreational items

  • Debt repayment s

  • Travel expenses outside of the UK

  • Any costs associated with moving into your new home unless a grant has been preapproved.

It is crucial to completely understand a grant scheme’s different criteria and limits before applying for it.

Do your homework to avoid you becoming ineligible for the grant, or even worse, going into debt. So, always be sure to dive deeply into the criteria before taking the plunge and submitting an application.

Applying for the community care grant?

If you are eligible for the community care grant, you must make sure that your application is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. This includes providing proof of identity, proof of address and evidence of income.

The whole process can take between 8-10 weeks.

Once you have submitted your application form, the Local Authority will review it and advise you on whether or not you have been accepted for the grant.

If your application is successful, they will then provide you with a breakdown of the costs covered and any additional services that may be required.

It’s important to remember that grants are limited, so applying as soon as possible when you require assistance is important.

Getting an interest-free loan from your local council

Some councils offer interest-free loans to help those who need it move into a council house. This money can be used for basic necessities, like paying rent upfront or removal costs.

If you want to apply for an interest-free loan, contact your local council or housing associations and show them evidence of your finances. This could be old bank statements or confirmation of any benefits or income you get. They might invite you in for a chat about your money situation afterwards.

Can Council Help With Moving Costs?

In some cases, your local council can also provide assistance with moving costs. This support is usually provided in exceptional circumstances and can cover various expenses such as removal fees, essential furniture and utility bills. 

It’s worth asking your local authority about this type of help as it could be invaluable when settling into your new home

Council Help With Moving Costs

Can Council Help With Rent Arrears?

If your previous tenancy has left you with rent arrears, then you may be eligible for assistance from the council. 

This type of help is usually provided as a Discretionary Housing Payment and can cover a range of costs, such as rent arrears, removal expenses and furniture. It’s worth enquiring with your local authority about this option as it could provide some much-needed financial support when moving into your new home.

Overall, grants can go a long way to helping you move into a council house more affordably. Whether it’s adapting your home to improve accessibility or covering relocation costs there are several options available which may prove invaluable when settling into your new space. 

So, it’s worth checking out the grants and assistance that may be available in your area.

Finally, seeking advice from your local authority or charity organisations may prove invaluable if you struggle to afford to move home. They can provide information on what grants and assistance are available and refer you to independent tradespeople who can carry out work at a discounted rate. 

So don’t be afraid to seek help, as it could make all the difference when settling into your new council house.

The council welfare assistance schemes

Most councils offer a welfare assistance scheme, which can provide emergency funding for those in need. This could be money for food, heating or even clothes.

To apply for welfare assistance, you must contact your local council and explain your situation. You may be asked to explain why you are applying for the grant and what type of help you require. 

Additionally, they will ask you to provide proof of identity and address to ensure that the right person is using the grant.

If successful, the Local Authority will advise you on how much money they can give and when it will arrive. They also direct you to other organisations that could help with your financial troubles.

The outcomes of going through this process

Going through the process of applying for a grant, loan or welfare assistance can be daunting. But in the end, it could be life-changing.

council welfare assistance schemes

It can help you get into your new home without having to worry about money or any extra costs that may come with it. Additionally, by getting a loan, you won’t have to worry about the high-interest rates that sometimes come with borrowing from other sources.

Welfare assistance schemes can also provide financial aid when times are tough, and money is low. So it’s worth exploring all avenues before making a decision on what route to take.

Ultimately, grants, loans and welfare assistance schemes exist to help those in need make ends meet.

Advances for Universal Credit

To help those in need move into a new home, the government has set up the Universal Credit advance scheme. This allows those who are entitled to Universal Credit to apply for an advance payment of their benefit if they cannot afford to cover upfront costs.

The amount you can apply for is determined by your individual circumstances and will be repaid over 12 months through deductions from your monthly payments. It must also be paid back within 18 months.

In order to apply, you must contact Jobcentre Plus or fill out an online application form on gov.uk. It can take around 5-7 days for them to review your application and respond with a decision.

Once accepted, the money is transferred directly into your bank account, and you can use it to cover the costs of moving into your new home.

Applying for hardship funds

If you find yourself in financial difficulty and cannot apply for a grant, loan or advance payment of Universal Credit, then it’s worth looking into hardship funds. These funds are designed to help those in need with emergency costs such as rent or electricity bills.

The process of applying for a hardship fund is the same as any other grant – contact your local council or housing association and explain your situation. They will then be able to advise you on the best course of action.

While these grants aren’t specifically for moving into a new home, they can help ease the burden of financially difficult times and ensure that you get all the help you need when beginning this new chapter in your life.

Getting decoration grants for your home

Once you have settled into your new home, making the place look like your own can be expensive. Fortunately, you may be eligible for a decoration grant which will cover some of the costs associated with redecorating or refurbishing your home.

Local charities and trusts typically provide decoration grants, so it’s worth researching and seeing if there is one in your area that could help you out.  However, your local authority might be able to help too.

Although grants, loans and welfare assistance schemes exist to help those in need move into their new home, they aren’t always available or suitable for everyone’s circumstances. But by researching all available options, you can ensure you get the best deal for your individual needs. 

Getting a budgeting advance from the DWP

The Department for Work and Pensions offers a budgeting advance which can be applied for if you are already receiving Universal Credit. It is designed to help those in need covering one-off costs like rent, furniture or white goods.

You can apply for an advanced payment of up to £348 (or £464 if you have a disability or you have children), and it must be repaid within 12 months.

To apply, you must contact Jobcentre Plus or fill out an online application form on gov.uk. It can take around 5-7 days for them to review your application and respond with a decision. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also offers a budgeting advance scheme which provides financial help to those who need it. It can be used to cover moving costs, such as rent and deposit payments or deposits on appliances like washing machines.

In order to qualify for the scheme, you must have been in receipt of Universal Credit or certain other benefits for at least six months. You will then be able to apply online through the DWP website or by calling their helpline.

Once approved, the money will be paid into your bank account within three days, allowing you quick access to the funds you need when moving into a new home. Like with Universal Credit advances, these loans must also be repaid.

Discretionary funding from your local council

In some cases, your local council may be able to provide funding from their Discretionary Housing Payments Fund. This fund is available for people in extreme financial hardship who would like assistance with the cost of moving into their new home.

This type of grant can cover a wide range of costs, such as removal expenses, furniture, utility bills and other necessary items. However, grants are limited and will only be awarded on a case-by-case basis. 

To apply for this type of grant, you should contact your local authority directly and make the application via them.

Overall, grants are an excellent way to make moving into a council house more affordable and can help you enjoy living in your comfortable space without overspending.

Article author

Katy Davies

I am a keen reader and writer and have been helping to write and produce the legal content for the site since the launch.   I studied for a law degree at Manchester University and I use that theoretical experience, as well as my practical experience as a solicitor, to help produce legal content which I hope you find helpful.

Outside of work, I love the snow and am a keen snowboarder.  Most winters you will see me trying to get away for long weekends to the slopes in Switzerland or France.

Email – [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

How to find a grant from your local council?

Most local councils in the UK offer grants to help people with their financial situation. It is not just available to council tenants or people that are on housing benefit.

How much would a grant cover?

The amount of money a grant can provide for moving into a council house varies but typically ranges between £500 and £5,000.

The Social House Program grants

This is useful for home improvements and gives you up to £3000 for purchasing household equipment such as furniture, white goods and other household items.

The Homelessness Reduction Program

This provides a grant of up to £3,000 towards moving expenses.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that this site is no longer under active management. As a result, we cannot assure the accuracy or relevance of the content provided. Visitors should use their discretion and consider the potential for outdated or inaccurate information before relying on any material found here.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that this site is no longer under active management. As a result, we cannot assure the accuracy or relevance of the content provided. Visitors should use their discretion and consider the potential for outdated or inaccurate information before relying on any material found here.