Luton council is offering homeowners up to £30,000 to carry out loft conversions in a bid to tackle overcrowding.
They believe they are one of the first local authorities to set up such a scheme and has put a nominal sum of £100,000 aside.
The loan will have to be repaid when the property is sold, and will be secured against the home in the same way as a mortgage.
However, homeowners will have to meet a range of criteria to qualify, including:
- The house must be 30 years old or more
- The applicant must have owned/resided in the property for a minimum of three years
- The property must meet the decent homes standard
- The property must be overcrowded by the ‘bedroom standard’ (there are not enough bedrooms to avoid ‘undesirable’ sharing)
- Applicants must also be in receipt of one of a list of benefits, including housing benefits, council tax benefit, income support and jobseekers allowance.
On completion the properties much not be overcrowded, and there should be one toilet and bathroom for every five people.